Tassort to stamp Slipper credentials

By: Caryl Williamson Sunday 17 February 2019

Golden Slipper favourite Tassort will make his much-anticipated return at Rosehill as stablemate Athiri attempts to give Godolphin a juvenile Group One win at Caulfield.

Tassort runs in Saturday's Group Two Silver Slipper (1100m), a race won by three of the past seven winners of the $3.5 million Golden Slipper.

The colt rocketed to favouritism for the Slipper with his debut win in November and was impressive in his only public appearance since, winning a barrier trial at Rosehill last Monday.

Trainer James Cummings prepares Athiri, the $5 second favourite for the Group One Blue Diamond (1200m) while Godolphin also has $8 chance, the Anthony Freedman-trained Lyre, in Melbourne's premier two-year-old race.

Tassort is a half brother to 2016 Silver Slipper winner and future Golden Rose winner Astern and dual Group One winner Alizee.

"He's done well since his trial," Cummings said.

"He just got out of it what he needed to. They ambled along nicely and I think he's improved from it and he'll run in the Silver Slipper and James McDonald will ride him there."

Underlying the strength of the Godolphin youngsters, Tassort's stablemate Exhilarates is the second favourite for the Golden Slipper based on her win in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic last month.

"Exhilarates was beautiful on Friday morning," Cummings said.

"Kerrin (McEvoy) came in and worked her for me and I was pleased to see her responding in her action and looking great.

"We'll probably see her in a public trial on Monday week."

The Gary Portelli-trained Time To Reign, a half brother to 2017 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign who also won the Silver Slipper, is expected to run on Saturday after suffering his first loss in the Pierro Plate when fourth behind Godolphin's Bivouac.

Others earmarked for the Silver Slipper are Chicago Bull, Cardiff, Faretti and McLaren.