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Curse no barrier for She Will Reign

When a mate convinced Andrew Pieper to buy a five per cent share in She Will Reign, the first-time owner was originally content for her to just make a field in Sydney.

So with those expectations met when the two-year-old won December’s $500,000 Inglis Nursery at Randwick, Pieper and 19 other co-owners inevitably raised the bar.

Imagine, then, how Pieper felt at the $3.5 million Golden Slipper barrier draw on Tuesday when he picked out 13, the gate that has not produced a winner since the world’s richest race for two year-olds was first held in 1957.

Fortunately for Tamworth-based Pieper his discomfort was temporary as emergencies Showtime and The Mission drew inside She Will Reign, who will now likely jump from barrier 11 on Saturday.

“When Houtzen drew outside of us that was even handier, she’s going to come across and we can follow her,” Pieper said.

Houtzen, the $4.40 favourite for the 1200m feature, also gained a measure of relief with the filly inheriting barrier 14 if the emergencies are not required.

Pieper was also comforted by trainer Gary Portelli describing 11 as his lucky number – four Golden Slippers have been won from that gate, with Mossfun the most recent success in 2014.

Regardless of the how the race pans out for She Will Reign, the $5 second favourite, Pieper and her other owners are simply rapt to have backed a winner.

“To get in a race like this is winning lotto, we’re blessed. We’re just the luckiest people going around,” he said.

“When I first bought into the horse all I wanted to do was get a Sydney runner. Second run in we had a Sydney winner (the Inglis Nursery).”

Darby Racing bought She Will Reign at the Classic Sale for $20,000 and after three wins in four races she has already claimed prize money of $515,000.

“The boys (Darby Racing) have selected well yet again, on the back of Yankee Rose,” Pieper said.

The David Vandyke-trained Yankee Rose, who cost $10,000, ran second in last year’s Slipper before winning the ATC Sire’s Produce Stakes.

She added a second Group One win in the Spring Champion Stakes before running third behind Winx in the Cox PLate.

Pieper’s share in She Will Reign cost $2500 and so far it has been a priceless experience.

“There’s owners everywhere, Maroochydore, Tasmania. Only a couple of guys knew each other.

“A lot of them are first-time owners. A bit like me they find it a little bit overawing at times.”

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