Santos storms into Golden Slipper contention
Emirates Park bred and part-owned Santos stormed right into $3.5 million Group 1 ATC Golden Slipper Stakes contention when proving to be a very impressive winner of the ATC Pierro Plate (1100m) at his first outing since a hugely promising spring campaign.
A quality son of I Am Invincible trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Santos took his place in the $150,000 Pierro Plate as a $5.50 chance and basically blew his rivals away, taking control of the event at the top of the home straight before racing to a clear-cut two-and-half lengths victory.
Within minutes of Santos winning the event the colt's price for this year's Golden Slipper had been slashed from $51.00 into $11.00. The March 24 feature is now very much in the sights of the Waterhouse-Bott stable and the brilliant colt's ownership group.
Champion trainer Gai Waterhouse had no hesitation in naming Santos as the stable's premier Golden Slipper hope with five weeks to go before the coveted event.
"This has been our Golden Slipper runner from Day One," declared Waterhouse to reporters. "In the spring he was still coming together and now he has furnished into a really beautiful colt.
"He is such an exciting horse; he is lyrical. This was a crucial race today with a very good field — all of these horses are Golden Slipper horses."
Winning rider Tim Clark claimed that he grew very positive about the outcome of the race as it unfolded.
"I was pretty confident once I was able to get outside the leader that I was going to be really strong," revealed Clark.
"He is going to be a beautiful horse once he gets out over further. He does not quicken explosively off the mark, but the further we went the stronger he got. As the distances get a little longer, he is only going to get better."
Santos was bred by Emirates Park Stud and the stud retains an interest in his ownership along with Craig Thompson's Mt Hallowell Stud, Mr A Konstantatos, Mrs A Konstantatos, G1G Racing and Breeding, Mr D Healey, Dr A Kuok, Mr G Singh, Ms K Waterhouse, Mr M J Lynch, Mr J L Willoughby and Mr G J Borg.
Santos is not only a maternal grandson of Emirates Park's celebrated racehorse and sire Secret Savings (USA), he hails from a family that the stud has developed with tremendous affect. The juvenile's grand-dam is Elated Lady whose own progeny include the likes of Pattern Race winners Mutawaajid and Fatoon, herself the dam of Group 1 winner Fat Al.
A division of the Nasser Abdulla Lootah Group