Gai Waterhouse is eyeing a seventh Golden Slipper with $2m colt Faretti to make his Rosehill debut.
Tulloch Lodge faces an uphill battle to get unraced youngster Faretti into the Golden Slipper but such is the stable’s faith in the $2 million colt it is prepared to chance the odds.
Co-trainer Gai Waterhouse has already won the holy grail of Australian two-year-old racing six times and her tried and tested pattern has been to blood a precocious youngster in the spring.
Faretti will make a belated and testing debut against boom Godolphin colt Tassort in Saturday’s Silver Slipper (1100m) at Rosehill and while Waterhouse’s training partner Adrian Bott accepts the weight of that challenge, he doesn’t shy away from it.
“Obviously he’s an important colt for us. It’s an important race and he’s given us every indication he’s a Golden Slipper prospect, so we wanted to give him that opportunity,” Bott said.
“It’s only right he’s tested against these quality individuals and Saturday will give us a thorough indication of whether we’re on the right path.”
A son of top stallion I Am Invincible, Faretti has shown the stable ability from the outset.
He has also demonstrated versatility.
At his first barrier trial, he led and won, and in the second he took a sit and finished strongly to out-muscle his rivals.
Bott said the variation in tactics was part of a plan to give Faretti a solid foundation in the hope it would compensate for his lack of race experience.
“We wanted to give him that proper grounding going into Saturday’s race and obviously he’ll need it with the path we’re giving him, going into the Silver Slipper at his first race,” he said.
“A few others have got the benefit of race experience and that’s what he’s got to overcome so we’ve tried to give him a well-rounded education through his two trials.
“He’s got the tactical speed to lead if we feel that’s necessary on Saturday but also, if there happens to be a bit of pressure in there once we analyse the speed maps, he is versatile enough to be able to take a sit as well.”
Waterhouse and Bott will spread their Golden Slipper hopes across two states on Saturday with Vinicunca lining up in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.
Bott said the filly had come through her last-start second in the Fillies Prelude in great order and from an inside draw could give the race a shake.
“She’s taken good improvement from that race and she’s thriving down there. From the nice draw and with her racing pattern I think she can run an excellent race for us,” Bott said.
“Either way she’ll come back up to Sydney and be on the Slipper path.”