Paquirri makes late bid for Golden Slipper

Gary Moore.
Trainer Gary Moore will launch a make-or-break Golden Slipper bid with Paquirri at Randwick.

Paquirri has an opportunity to become trainer Gary Moore’s first Golden Slipper runner if he can upset a quality Todman Stakes field at Randwick.

Moore is pinning his hopes on Paquirri returning from a let-up in style in Saturday’s Group Two Todman Stakes (1200m), where the winner is exempt from the $3.5 million Golden Slipper ballot.

The I Am Invincible colt races for the first time since trailing Golden Slipper favourite Sunlight home when third on the Gold Coast in January, and Moore believes he has benefited from the break.

“He’s a lot happier this time in, he’s had a jump-out and worked well,” Moore said.”

Paquirri was 63rd on the order of entry for the Group One Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 24 when the Todman field was finalised on Wednesday, so winning is imperative.

“Finishing four lengths behind Sunlight stands him in good stead,” he said.

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Moore felt the margin would have been smaller had Paquirri been ridden more conservatively by Michael Walker.

“He took off, got to the lead and wilted so this time we’ll ride him off the speed so we can have the last crack at them. He’s got a good turn of foot,” he said.

Paquirri, who will be ridden by Tim Clark, is a $61 outsider in an early market led by the Chris Waller-trained Performer ($1.90).

Moore has a back-up plan for the $265,000 purchase at the Perth Magic Millions sale should his Slipper dream evaporate.

“There’s tough horses in there, Performer, Ef Troop so if he doesn’t make it we’ll go to the Kindergarten Stakes.” he said.

The Group Three Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) will be held at Randwick on April 7.