Golden Slipper placegetters Frolic and Tulip are vying for favouritism in the season’s third Group One race for two-year-olds but a better behaved Menari could put them to the test.
The Gerald Ryan-trained colt was third across the line in the Slipper but was demoted to fourth on protest.
He is one of three runners coming out of the Slipper for Ryan in Saturday’s ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) with the trainer confident at least two can improve over the extra 200 metres.
Trapeze Artist finished sixth in the Slipper while Chauffeur was ninth behind the winner She Will Reign who has gone for a spell.
Frolic was $4.20 at Luxbet.com on Friday with Tulip at $5 and Menari $8 while Chauffeur and Trapeze Artist were at $14 and $16 respectively.
“I think Chauffeur will eat up 1400 metres but I would prefer a drier track for him,” Ryan said.
“Menari will give himself every chance. I’m not so sure about the 1400 metres for Trapeze Artist but if he is ever going to get it, it will be this race.”
The race has been reduced by one with Todman Stakes winner Gunnison withdrawn on Friday after being sold the night before at the inaugural Chairman’s Sale conducted by race sponsor Inglis.
Gunnison topped the sale at $1.4 million and will do his future racing in Hong Kong.
Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden will now rely on Invader, a $7.50 chance in the Sires’ Produce and a short head second to Gunnison in the Todman.
But so far this year, the colts and geldings have played second fiddle to the fillies with Catchy winning the Blue Diamond and Frolic’s jockey Tommy Berry believes it will be the case again despite her wide draw.
“She’s drawn terribly again,” Berry said.
“She hasn’t had any favours with barriers, although it probably won’t hurt her too much.
“It doesn’t matter how heavy the track is, I think she’s got the form on the board to suggest she can win it and she deserves to be favourite.”
Berry also has a more personal reason to want to win for the filly’s trainer Michael Freedman who will soon leave Sydney for Hong Kong.
Berry’s twin brother Nathan was riding for Freedman in Singapore when the jockey became ill with the rare Norse Syndrome and died from the illness three years ago.
Freedman was a great help to the family during that time.
“He’s a great family friend and it would be great to send him out with a Group One win,” Berry said.