THE buzz horse of 2018 to date is undoubtedly Sunlight and after its dominant Magic Millions 2YO Classic win everyone’s focus has seemingly shifted straight to the horse’s pathway to the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
If the correspondence we have received at Horse Betting Headquarters is any indication, almost every punter in the country wants to know if Sunlight can go on to capture the Slipper after saluting in the 2YO Classic.
Watch Sunlight win the Magic Millions 2YO Classic below.
Sunlight then DAYLIGHT!
Sunlight with a dominant win in the @mmsnippets 2yo Classic!
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) January 13, 2018
Watching the above video makes us think “why would anyone doubt Sunlight can win the Golden Slipper?”, but before you invest your hard earned on the $7 Ladbrokes is currently offering, let’s take a look at the facts.
Since the 2YO Classic’s inception in 1987, just three horses have claimed the juvenile title on the Gold Coast and traveled south to Sydney to take out the Slipper just two months later.
Dance Hero was the first horse to do the double back in 2004, and Phelan Ready emulated the feat five years later.
The last horse to record wins in both races was Capitalist in 2016 and, much like Sunlight, the now-retired Snowdon horse delivered a powerful win in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
Can Sunlight go on to claim the Golden Slipper like Capitalist did two years ago?
Watch Capitalist’s win in the 2016 Golden Slipper Below.
So we know which horses have delivered the double in the past, but let’s look at what it’ll take for Sunlight to become the fourth horse in history to win the 2YO Classic/Golden Slipper double.
Pack your bags Sunlight, you’re headed for an early trip to Sydney
If we continue on the Capitalist theme for Sunlight, the next step will be finding the ideal race in Sydney to give the Tony McEvoy runner a tune-up heading into the Slipper.
The race that Sunlight will likely target will be the Group 3 Todman Stakes (1200m) in early March.
Both Capitalist and Phelan Ready finished second in the Todman Stakes before going on to claim the Golden Slipper two weeks later. The race looms as the perfect lead-in to the Slipper given it is run over the same distance and in the same city.
It is also worth noting that all three horses that have completed the double have had the solitary run in between the 2YO Classic and the Golden Slipper, and only Dance Hero has gone in as a last-start winner and claimed the Slipper crown.
The path is forged, but history still needs to be made
One piece of history Sunlight will need to overcome is the fact that no filly has ever completed the Magic Millions/Golden Slipper double, but the race has been favourable to the females in recent times.
Three of the last five Golden Slipper winners have been fillies, including last year’s winner She Will Reign. The big factor in Sunlight’s favour will be the fact it gets a 2kg weight relief on the male counterparts heading into the race.
When you have a filly of Sunlight’s class, that could make all the difference.
In conclusion, can Sunlight do it?
Taking everything into consideration, we go back to the opening question: Can Sunlight win the Golden Slipper?
The answer is yes.
We think the horse will rest until March, then the McEvoy team will likely target the Todman Stakes before launching the Slipper assault.
If all goes according to plan, we expect Sunlight to become the fourth horse in history to deliver the double and the first filly in history to do so.