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Sunlight primed for Golden Slipper lead-up

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Golden Slipper favourite Sunlight has her final lead-up in the Magic Night Stakes at Rosehill.

The Magic Night Stakes is rarely a prelude to Golden Slipper success, but trainer Tony McEvoy is confident Sunlight can defy history.

McEvoy has already used a seven-day back-up to good effect with Sunlight before the Magic Millions and believes the strategy will again deliver the desired result.

Calaway Girl is the latest Magic Night Stakes runner to claim the $3.5 million Golden Slipper in 2002.

Most of Sunlight’s rivals in Saturday’s Group Three Magic Night Stakes (1200m) rivals are treating the race as a last chance to qualify to take on the Golden Slipper favourite again a week later.

“She’s a filly that gets very stimulated when you gallop her. She gets on a high from it and she’s excited for the next few days,” McEvoy said.

“Sometimes you’ve got to protect a filly, not her. She’s eating like a colt and getting trained like a colt.”

Sunlight erased any doubts about her resilience when she won the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast seven days after winning an 1100m lead-up.

McEvoy said that experience would stand her in good stead ahead of a busy schedule.

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“She’s been to the high pressure of a Golden Slipper-style event in the Magic Millions and finished off,” he said.

“She’s been up at the Gold Coast in very hot conditions and it’s meant to be pretty horrendous there tomorrow.”

Sunlight will race for the first time since winning the Group Two Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) on February 24 and her subsequent work has been impressive.

Race jockey Luke Currie galloped her at Warwick Farm last Saturday and she did some light striding work on Wednesday.

“She’s taken good benefit from that gallop. She’s in really good shape and there’s more to come,” McEvoy said.

Sunlight was the $1.50 favourite for the Magic Night Stakes with the TAB on Friday with Setsuna and Cristobal on the second line at $13 and McEvoy agreed with that assessment.

“I expect her to win providing she gets the opportunity,” he said.

“She’s the rightful favourite for the Slipper and tomorrow is another tool to get her there.”

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