Sydney's premier jockey Hugh Bowman has labelled Saturday's Golden Slipper anyone's race, but believes his mount Good Standing will need everything to fall into place if he is to claim his first win in the two-year-old event.
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Bowman has had 12 Slipper rides – his best finish a third on Meurice in 2007 – and sees Good Standing's hopes well represented by his place in the market at $14. He believes the colt's best will come as he matures, but rates him as one of many chances in the Golden Slipper.
"I think it is the most open Slipper we have seen since Sebring [won in 2008]. The last few years there have been standouts, like Overreach, Sepoy and Vancouver," Bowman said.
"Generally the best horse wins and it stands out. I think it is different this year, it is a lot more open. My bloke has a chance but he will need the right run."
Bowman believes Good Standing is a group 1 horse but whether it will produce that form on Saturday has him querying his mount, which won the Skyline Stakes to earn his spot in the race.
"I'm not sure if [Good Standing] is a Slipper horse myself, but I think he is a genuine group 1 horse," Bowman said.
"He feels like his best is going to come as a three-year-old miler, he is a very good mover.
"They can't be everything. His win in the Skyline was good and it wouldn't surprise if he came out and won on Saturday, but he feels like that mile sort of horse, but those horses can win Slippers."
Punters have been searching for value in the past couple of days. Good Standing sits on the edge of discussions with the money at UBET coming for Kiss And Make Up and Capitalist since the barrier draw.
The unbeaten Blue Diamond winner – Mick Price's Extreme Choice – remains a $2.90 favourite in front of stablemate Flying Artie at $5.25.
"The favourite has to go to Rosehill for the first time but he looks the obvious choice," UBET's Gerard Daffy said. "Punters are shying from him at the short quote because he has to go the other way. If this race was in Melbourne he would be odds-on because his form is faultless.
"They have been backing Capitalist [at $8.50] and taking the $9 about Kiss And Make Up with all the hype around it. It is like they want to stick with the Sydney horses in Sydney."
Away from the Golden Slipper, Bowman will partner some of the star attractions on Saturday, as Winx steps out again in the George Ryder Stakes and Terravista lines up in The Galaxy.
Winx opened a $1.65 favourite for the George Ryder Stakes. Bowman is a man of few words when it comes the star.
"She is a special mare," he said. "There is not much I have to say about her because what she does on the track does all the talking that is needed."
Bowman would love to get another group 1 with Terravista, which runs in the Galaxy after missing the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington last week because of a hoof problem.
"It has been a while since he won a group 1 and this is a great opportunity for him, even with the big weight," Bowman said. "He is only here because he missed out last week and it will be a great lead into the TJ Smith, which is his main goal.
"He has been a wonderfully consistent sprinter and you know what you are going to get from him and that makes him hard to beat whatever he runs in."