Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, by Chris Roots.
Champion trainer Chris Waller has Australian racing’s grand slam and Coolmore Stud its first Golden Slipper after Ryan Moore flew in and gave Shinzo a rail-hugging ride at Rosehill on Saturday.
On a day where jockeys wanted to get off the fence, Moore took the shortest way home on Shinzo ($16) after getting back and coming through on the inside of favourite Cylinder ($3.40) to beat him a 1¼ lengths, with King’s Gambit ($8) 1½ lengths back in third.
“We were lucky we got a nice draw, was able to follow Cylinder through and it all just went beautifully for us. It all worked out,” Moore said. “I’m sure he’s not just an out-and-out six furlong [1200m] sprinter. I’m sure he’s going to be more comfortable when he gets over more ground.”
It is what Waller has thought all the way with Shinzo, but the lure of the Golden Slipper kept him in work.
He won his way into the race in the Pago Pago Stakes seven days ago and then proved the best of the generation on the biggest day.
“We have never trained him as a two-year-old; he is doing this on natural ability,” Waller said. “It is a great achievement and it was great ride from Ryan.
“It’s one of those moments isn’t it? As you know I get pretty caught up in the emotion of winning races. But honestly, there’s so many great races on our calendar every year and having runners in it is a privilege.
“I know it’s a big deal and I respect it.”
Waller has now won the big four, known as the grand slam: the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and the Golden Slipper. But he is the only trainer to win The Everest as well.
Shinzo joins the greats of his stable in Winx, Verry Elleegant and Nature Strip that have won those races. It also gave him the set of all nine group 1s run at Rosehill.
“It’s really good company for him, but this is the start for this horse and I can’t wait to see what he can do,” Waller said.
For Coolmore boss Tom Magnier it was a moment of delight as well.
“I came to Australia when I was 19 and this is the race you have to win here. It is why we got Ryan out here, and to win it is incredible,” Magnier said.
It was a perfect Golden Slipper ride from Moore to give him a second group 1 after he won the Ranvet Stakes on Dubai Honour, but back in the field there was drama at the 600m mark when second favourite Learning To Fly fell.
Her jockey Chad Schofield was able to walk away despite Lazzago going over the top of him. Learning To Fly suffered a shoulder injury and was very lame.
The fall split the field but it was three best colts that raced clear. Moore, who has been on special horses around the world, echoed Waller’s thoughts about Shinzo.
“He’s a very talented colt, he’s got a super attitude. Lovely big strong long-striding horse,” he said.
“It feels like he’s improving and he’ll continue to improve, and all being well he’ll have a good future.”
James McDonald found the front briefly on Cylinder but couldn’t match the winner.
“He tried hard. Everything worked out beautifully for him. Just the really strong horse overcame him late,” McDonald said.
While the first two enjoyed runs on the fence, King’s Gambit had to come around the field and charged down the centre by himself.
“He was a little bit wide for the majority. Relaxed really well. Winner got the break on us but he finished off well,” Mark Zahra said.
As the winners’ room filled with the syndicate members that had believed in Tom Magnier and Coolmore’s vision about Golden Slipper, the affable Irishman took a deep breath looked up at the television of a replay of Shinzo crossing the line.
“He did it,” he said. “We did it.
“I haven’t been able to sleep this week because I was so excited, but for everything to go right and get the result – it’s relief, you know.
“We just all wanted to win this race that’s why these people joined us.”
Magnier came up with the idea of stallion syndicate and when Chris Waller joined it, the position of trainer was taken. For Shinzo when he just need a jockey and a phone call to Ballydoyle saw Ryan Moore on a plane.
“We want to get the best people in the world together and for Ryan to say straight away I’ll come out, that was big for me,” Magnier said. “It was a great ride and he was peaked on the day by a great trainer.”
It has been three years since the Coolmore buying team and Waller’s bloodstock expert Guy Mulcaster joined forces and it was a Shinzo they searched for. They have spent millions of dollars but the returns will to tens of million, maybe hundreds of millions.
The first year got a Home Affairs, which stands at Coolmore after winning a Coolmore Stud Stakes and Lightning Stakes, and in the third year they have maybe the most exciting prospect in Australian racing.
“We wanted to win this race and we have done it with a horse that we bred on the farm,” Magnier said. “We had such faith in this horse that we offered him to the syndicate because if we didn’t we would have had to buy back because Chris loved him.
“it is near the perfect for the whole team from the farm to Chris’s stable.”
Waller has loved the experience with the syndicate but admits the pressure was there this week.
“They let me train the horses the way I want too, but you know what this race means,” Waller said. “To get Shinzo here was great but to win it just means so much to so many people.”