1957 saw the first run of the prestigious Golden Slipper Stakes. Since then, over the last six decades, this race has gained increasing importance, not just on our own racing calendar, but has attracted attention from racing fans in so many other countries. Much of this has to do with the stellar prize fund, with its total now at $3.5 million. This makes it the world’s richest race for two-year-old thoroughbreds.
The Golden Slipper Day itself is a great way to spend an autumn Saturday. Taking yourself off to enjoy both the racing and the superb facilities on offer in western Sydney at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, you can watch four other terrific Group 1 events, as well as wait for the highlight as the Golden Slipper field gathers at the start of a hectic charge across 1200 metres of this sweeping course. Don’t be surprised though, as some seasoned watchers will still maintain it’s actually a proper six furlongs race.
How the runners qualify for the Golden Slipper Stakes
Entries into this field are hard-won. There are two main ways to have your 2-year-old thoroughbred in place at the start. The first is by winning one of the seven races that lead up to the Golden Slipper itself. These races are the Silver Slipper Stakes, the Pago Pago Stakes, the Reisling Stakes, the Magic Night Stakes, the Skyline Stakes, and the Sweet Embrace Stakes. That’s six; the final one is the Todman Stakes. Hark back to 1957, and that was the name of the famous chestnut that was first past the post on the day when the great Golden Slipper Stakes tradition began.
The second way to secure a position in the Golden Slipper field of sixteen, plus two emergencies, is by the level of prize money gained to this point by the horse during its short racing career. The result is that a group of hugely promising - but perhaps unpredictable thanks to their youth - horses gather to race for these huge financial rewards.