Punt Drunk: Can Fireburn break the Slipper Curse?

Fireburn wins Golden Slipper

Day 1 of The Championships is just one sleep away, so for the Sydney racing enthusiasts, today is like Christmas Eve. Fireburn will be out to break the ‘Slipper Curse’ on Saturday, while punters ask, ‘Can Shelby Sixtysix go back-to-back at Group 1 level?’. The Punt Drunk team dissects a massive weekend that lies ahead.


Golden Slipper winner Fireburn will be looking to make it five wins in a row when she starts a short-priced favourite in Saturday’s ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1400m. While plenty of punters are rallying behind the wet track specialist, one alarming thing lays in her way – the Slipper Curse. Since 2013, just one Golden Slipper winner has gone on to win another race. Not just another Group 1 race, another race at any level. She Will Reign was that filly, who actually won the Golden Slipper in very similar fashion to what Fireburn did by saving ground along the inside on a wet track. Can the curse be broken?



It has been well documented from day one to now, the rise of Shelby Sixtysix. The Punt Drunk Team are going to take a look at his rise to fame over the past few months ahead of his toughest test yet – the TJ Smith Stakes.

  • January 22 – 11th of 14 in a Class 2 Highway at Randwick, beaten 5.4 lengths
  • January 30 – 2nd of 10 in a Class 2 on the Sapphire Coast, beaten 1.95 lengths
  • February 5 – 5th of 15 in a Class 3 Highway at Randwick, beaten 1.75 lengths
  • February 19 – 2nd of 18 in a Class 3 Highway at Rosehill, beaten 0.09 lengths
  • February 26 – 1st of 10 in a Class 2 Highway at Randwick, 1.5-length winner
  • March 5 – 2nd of 4 in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Randwick, 0.2 lengths behind Eduardo, beat Nature Strip
  • March 12 – 1st of 7 in the Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes at Randwick, 1.22-length winner
  • March 19 – 1st of 14 in the Group 1 The Galaxy at Rosehill, 0.16-length winner

So, what lies ahead for the Goulburn-based galloper?

  • April 2 – TBD of 11 in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick, $6 with online bookmakers

It would be a huge effort if Shelby can get it done, racing fans would go into meltdown, and we think it would be fair to say that a statue should be built of the horse at Goulburn Racecourse. Imagine the scenes!



One punter on Twitter pointed out throughout the week that on Saturday, two horses who have clashed multiple times have gone different ways in their careers. While that may not sound overly interesting, wait until you hear this. During the spring, the key lead up race to the Golden Rose was the Run to the Rose, where Anamoe and Remarque started close to joint favourites. Now, fast-forward to today and you will find that Remarque is a $3.80 chance in a Benchmark 84 at Bendigo, while Anamoe tops the betting for next Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes, ahead of the likes of Zaaki, Verry Elleegant, Think It Over and Duais. In the words of Michael Scott, “Well, well, well… how the turn tables”.

Punt Drunk

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Welcome to Punt Drunk – our daily column covering all the latest horse racing and punting controversies, dramas and headline news. Have a story or gripe or issue that just grinds your gears? Just hit us up in the comments or contact us page and our jaded, punt hardened Punt Drunk staff will give it the Punt Drunk treatment it deserves. Don’t expect pleasantries or typical racing media fanboy gloss from Punt Drunk – we’re on the punt and we don’t have time to bullshit; the next is about to jump…

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