Golden Slipper favourite dazzles at trials

Star juvenile Storm Boy has been put through his paces by new jockey James McDonald.

STORM BOY winning the $3M THE STAR GOLD COAST MAGIC MILLIONS 2YO CLASSIC - RESTRICTED LISTED at Gold Coast in Australia.
STORM BOY winning the $3M THE STAR GOLD COAST MAGIC MILLIONS 2YO CLASSIC - RESTRICTED LISTED at Gold Coast in Australia. Picture: Steve Hart

James Mcdonald could not have been anything but impressed after steering Storm Boy to a sizzling barrier trial win at his first sit on the Golden Slipper favourite.

The unbeaten colt put more than 6-1/2 lengths on his nearest chaser Majorca Sunset in Thursday's heat, covering the 900 metres in a slick 53.47 seconds, his final 600 metres in 33.96 seconds.

Storm Boy's time was more than a second faster than stakes-winning sprinter Remarque recorded to take out a 900-metre Open Trial earlier in the session and easily the quickest of the two-year-old heats.

Co-trainer Adrian Bott says Storm Boy will not trial again before his next assignment in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 2 where McDonald has been booked to ride the Magic Millions winner.

 A final decision will then be made on whether horse and jockey combine in the Golden Slipper.

"James McDonald will ride him in the Skyline," Bott told Sydney's Sky Racing Radio prior to Storm Boy's trial on Thursday.

"In terms of the Slipper booking, nothing has been made there yet. Everyone has got a few options, but James will get a good feel for him this morning and then obviously in the Skyline Stakes, then everyone can get together again and make a few decisions off the back of that."

Bott indicated stablemates Prost, who won the Canonbury Stakes earlier this month, and Anode, who was fifth in the Lonhro Plate last weekend, could join Storm Boy in the Skyline.

Tulloch Lodge is enjoying a remarkable season with its two-year-olds, Fully Lit continuing their streak with his triumph in the $2 million Inglis Millennium (1100m) last Saturday, while well-bred filly Chateau Miraval added to the haul with a midweek win at the Randwick Kensington meeting.

Unbeaten colt Shangri La Express gets his opportunity to reaffirm Golden Slipper plans in the Pierro Plate (1100m) at Randwick this weekend, the race shaping as a stern test with Chris Waller's impressive debut winner Switzerland also engaged.

Waterhouse and Bott have had 46 two-year-old runners this season for 17 winners, a strikerate of 37 per cent.


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