More Slipper hopefuls step out at Rosehill

Eight weeks out from the Golden Slipper, several more hopefuls will put their hopes on the line at Rosehill but the titleholder will miss a scheduled gallop at the track.

She Will Reign was to have a race day outing on Saturday ahead of her next appearance two weeks later but a minor issue with a fetlock will keep her at home,

Omar, one of five first-starters in the 10-horse field for the 2YO Plate (1100m), is the early favourite based on two encouraging barrier trials.

Like all trainers with two-year-olds at this time of year, Gerald Ryan has the Slipper as a goal but he is not getting ahead of himself with 358 youngsters still in the mix after second declarations.

The colt is a three-quarter brother to Menari, fourth in last year’s Slipper on a heavy track.

He is also from the family that produced superior stayer Tie The Knot but the Snitzel influence is evident.

“He is a pretty quick horse as you would expect from a Snitzel and his mother Ichihara was also fast,” Ryan said.

“Unlike Menari he is only 15.3 hands, also more like Snitzel.

“I don’t know how far he will get but he is showing the right things at home.”

Omar was retained by his breeder, Corumbene Stud’s George Altomonte, who also races Menari and another potential Slipper contender Sweet Ava.

The filly has won her only start and is a full sister to Menari out of Ichihara’s sister Isurava. The pair’s dam Cut A Dash is a three-quarter sister to 1990 Thousand Guineas winner Whisked, the mother of Tie The Knot.

“Sweet Ava is a big filly, about 16 hands, and is more like Menari but is also a filly we think might get 1600 metres later,” Ryan said.

Omar was at $2.80 with the TAB on race eve ahead of the Chris Waller-trained Pembroke Castle at $3.50.

Ryan said Menari, who has not raced since he ran third to stablemate Trapeze Artist in the Golden Rose in September and subsequently had a tie-back operation, was working well to his return in the Group One Galaxy (1100m) on March 24.

“He has been back in the stable for five weeks and has gone even time this week for the first time,” he said.

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