Pride ‘happy’ with Shalatin heading into Golden Slipper

NSW trainer Joseph Pride
Joseph Pride is quietly confident about Shalatin’s chances in the Golden Slipper this Saturday. (Martin King/Sportpix)

While not giving away too much, trainer Joe Pride has hinted that if Shalatin hits his peak form in Saturday’s Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m), he can match it with Australia’s best young sprinters.

That was his mindset after his two-year-old drew barrier five on Tuesday, with experienced hoop Nash Rawiller set for the ride.

Pride’s sprinter qualified for the world’s richest two-year-old race with an impressive second in the $1 million Golden Gift (1100m) at Rosehill on November 6 last year.

His last start was also a competitive third in the $300,000 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 5, Gary Portelli’s Sejardan winning both.

“There are better judges than me, but I’m happy with the horse. He’s a nice colt,” Pride told regarding Shalatin’s chances in the Golden Slipper.

“He’s improving and getting into his prep nicely. He didn’t find his top speed last start, but he was only beaten by two lengths.

“It’s hard to judge two-year-olds when they line up against each other – that’s one for the ratings guys.

“It’s only my job to present my horse in the best possible condition.

“He will need a career-best run on Saturday, but he’s about where he needs to be.

“Nash is a great rider and a suitable jockey for this horse.”

Pride has 15 Group 1 wins to his name, and 1,094 total victories, but the only previous Slipper runner he’s had was Anatomica, who ran fourth to Sebring in 2008.

“I’ve been training for 20 years now and I’ve been a part of a lot of Group 1 races, but Saturday will be exciting to be a part of,” said Pride, who has an impressive 38 wins so far in the NSW trainers’ season.

“I know my horse will keep improving, (and in the premiership) things are going along really well.”

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