Sister Sledge makes late bid for Slipper

Edward Cummings
Co=trainer Edward Cummings admits Sister Sledge has a daunting task in the Reisling Stakes.

Sister Sledge faces a daunting task to qualify for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper at her first attempt when she starts her racing career at Randwick.

With the winner of the Group Two Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick guaranteed a Golden Slipper berth, Anthony and Edward Cummings are pitting Sister Sledge against leading contenders for the two-year-old race on March 24.

While Estijaab and Gongs have already laid out their Golden Slipper credentials, Sister Sledge makes her bid after four trials stretching back to November.

“She’s certainly being thrown in the deep end but we’ve always felt she’s one of our better two-year-olds,” Edward Cummings said.

“Her recent trials suggested she’s pretty forward and with the Slipper a fortnight away there’s obviously limited opportunities for her to get into a race like that.

“She’ll have to be very, very good to win. Regardless of the result she’ll be better for the run and it potentially leads into other Group One targets through the autumn.”

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The father-and-son training partnership had considered Sunday’s Group Three Black Opal Stakes (1200m) in Canberra as a starting point but opted to run Sister Sledge at her home track.

Sister Sledge, the only newcomer on the eight-horse field, was a $34 chance with the TAB on Thursday with the Hawkes Racing-trained Estijaab at $1.35.

“We think she’s better than that. She’s a lovely horse and at some point or another she’ll be be in the finish of a big race,” Cummings said.

Edward Cummings’ brother James, the head trainer at Godolphin, prepares $10 chance Gongs.

She was third in the Silver Slipper, seven lengths from the winner Sunlight who beat Estijaab by a neck.

“There’s no doubt that she’s got a massive margin to make up on a filly like Estijaab, but if some of those other horses have a little bit of an off day, then I know Gongs has improved enough to give them a bit of a scare,” James Cummings said.