Slipper contender Menari impresses

Snitzel colt Menari has thrown out a challenge to the dominant fillies less than a month out from the Golden Slipper Stakes after trialling brilliantly at Rosehill on Monday morning.

The incredible Blue Diamond Stakes win of Catchy last Saturday at Caulfield continued the successful run of fillies this season in the elite races but Menari’s 5.5-length stroll at the trials might have left Catchy’s connections, as well as those of Slipper favourites She Will Reign and Houtzen, feeling a little less secure.

CrownBet has the unbeaten filly She Will Reign on top of the Slipper market at $3.20 ahead of Catchy ($7) and the Magic Millions Classic winner Houtzen at $8, but Menari joined Houtzen on that line after his trial performance.

Menari, who is trained at Rosehill by Gerald Ryan, has not raced since late January when he was edged out at Rosehill by Pariah, who went on to beat all but Catchy in the Blue Diamond Stakes.

He is expected to run in either Saturday’s Todman Stakes at Rosehill or be taken to Canberra for the Black Opal Stakes on Sunday.

She Will Reign, who has won all her three starts, is set to have her final run before the Slipper in Saturday’s Rielsing Slipper Trial at Rosehill but the Queensland filly Houtzen is expected to run in Brisbane this Saturday before she travels south for the much-anticipated March 25 showdown.

Also among the entries for the Randwick meeting on Saturday is Chautauqua, who is seeking to reaffirm his mantle as the country’s most dominant sprinter in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes over 1300 metres.

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