Brenton Avdulla on Estijaab fist pumps with Zac Purton on Oohood after winning Race 7, The Golden Slipper, during the Longines Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AAP Image/Jeremy Ng) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Brenton Avdulla on Estijaab fist pumps with Zac Purton on Oohood after winning Race 7, The Golden Slipper, during the Longines Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AAP Image/Jeremy Ng) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

McEvoy blames Slipper defeat on lack of pressure

TONY McEvoy can't help but feel the Golden Slipper Stakes was one that got away due to a surprising lack of pressure in the early stages.

McEvoy trained the placegetters Oohood and Sunlight and believes if the race was run in the fashion of a normal Golden Slipper one of his fillies would have won.

"There was meant to be huge speed with all the speed horses drawn near the inside near each other but it didn't work out that way. Estijaab is a star filly but Avdulla was allowed to come across and then got a holiday in front," McEvoy said.

McEvoy said one of his horses Sunlight was to blame for the lack of early pressure which surprised him and cost her the race.

Brenton Avdulla and Estijaab (green silks) take out the 2018 Golden Slipper from Oohood (yellow silks) and Sunlight (white silks). Picture: Getty Images
Brenton Avdulla and Estijaab (green silks) take out the 2018 Golden Slipper from Oohood (yellow silks) and Sunlight (white silks). Picture: Getty Images

"Our pre-race plan was to be outside the leader. She jumped well but Luke (Currie) said she couldn't hold her place so he elected to tuck her in which cost her the race as she ended up one spot further back than she needed to be.

"As a result, she settled one set back further than I thought. She should have been pressuring for the lead with Sunlight. If she'd done that I think she would have won."

"In the middle stages, Estijaab, recorded a sectional of 12.10 seconds which is unheard of in. As Damien Oliver said in his post-race comment - "where did all the speed go?"

Brenton Avdulla on Estijaab celebrates as he narrowly outguns Oohood. Picture: AAP
Brenton Avdulla on Estijaab celebrates as he narrowly outguns Oohood. Picture: AAP

Sky Racing form analyst Ron Dufficy said that jockeys rode to the speed map and not to their horses' strengths.

The other part of McEvoy's Golden Slipper lament was if Sunlight did put the pressure on it would have worked in the favour of Oohood.

"She had Estijaab at the 100m mark but her soft run then kicked in. It was a magnificent run but it was a normally run Slipper it would have suited her better.

McEvoy said Sunlight would go for a spell and Oohood would have her next start in the ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 7.

Oohood, is still a maiden but has now run placings in Australia's two most prestigious two-year-old races and has won $806,100 from her five starts.

 



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