Umanugget will skip the Slipper in favour of Sires and Champagne

The Golden Slipper wasn’t a suitable fit for talented colt Umanugget but trainer Brian Gentle is pressing ahead with the youngster’s autumn campaign in Sydney.

Umanugget missed out on cementing a place in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on April 4 when he could manage only sixth to Manhattan Rain in last Saturday’s Group Three Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Gentle wasn’t disappointed with the performance after Umanugget came from near last and will revert to Plan B and aim him towards the Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 18 and the Group One Champagne Stakes (1600m) at the same track a week later.
“I was happy enough with his run last week but they were too sharp for him over 1200 metres,” Gentle said.
“He’s doing too well in Sydney and has got away from me a little. He’s a different horse to what he was when he was here on the Gold Coast.
“He was 517 kilos before last Saturday’s race and he’s put on a kilo this week so the run hasn’t hurt him.”
Umanugget will have his final run ahead of the Sires’ Produce in the Listed TL Baillieu Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on April 1 with jockey Scott Seamer having first refusal.
Umanugget will be spelled after the autumn to prepare for a spring assault on the Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October while long-term plans include next year’s Group One AJC Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.
Meanwhile, Queensland filly Emma’s Heart will arrive in Sydney on Thursday after connections went ahead with a $5,000 gamble to qualify her for the Golden Slipper.
Trainer Bruce Brown estimated expenses for Emma’s Heart’s interstate trip would total around $5,000 but the bill was a risk worth taking to get her into the Group One Slipper.
“She left today and it’ll take her about 13 hours to get to Sydney and by the time she comes home I’ve estimated it’ll cost around $5,000 in travelling and accommodation costs,” Brown said.
“She hasn’t won a race yet but it’s a gamble worth taking.”
Brown felt Emma’s Heart was unlucky not to win when runner-up to Manhattan Angel over 1010 metres at Doomben last Saturday.
“She was very unlucky after she got sandwiched attempting a run,” Brown said.
“By the time she got through the winner had skipped two lengths clear of her and she only just got beaten.”
Emma’s Heart’s Golden Slipper hopes hinge on her winning the Group Two Magic Night Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday week.
The winner of the Magic Night is exempt from any ballot for the Slipper.
Brown became the only Brisbane trainer to prepare a Golden Slipper winner when Calaway Gal scored in 2002.

By Glenn Davis