Bayliss Steeled For ‘Versatile’ Filly’s Slipper Challenge

Regan Bayliss wanted a cushy draw for smart filly Steel City in the Group 1 $5 million Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) and that didn’t happen but he’s confident he has a horse that can overcome a bit of adversity in Saturday’s feature at Rosehill.

Regan Bayliss (Pic: Steve Hart)

The Magic Night Stakes winner will jump from gate 15 but that’s alongside the likely leader Red Resistance and Bayliss said while she led last weekend that scenario worked in that particular race.

At least she won’t be bailed away on the fence as she found herself in the Blue Diamond but she’ll likely be unable to bounce in front as she did in the Magic Night.

“I like that she’s very versatile. She’s got the ability to overcome it,” Bayliss said.

“We went out with an open plan, it wasn’t necessarily to lead but she showed great gate speed and I was there nice and comfortably. She had a great turn of foot when I asked her.

“I think the addition of the blinkers was key to her as we saw on Saturday.”

Only Kiamichi in 2019 has been able to convert a Magic Night win into Slipper glory since Bint Marscay in 1993 so there’ll be a slice of history against the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained filly.

Steel City was an $8 chance pre-draw on the back of her easy all the way win last Saturday but drifted to $13 post-draw.

Bayliss said it was a bonus to have had the chance to partner the filly prior to the Slipper, as she won her way into the race via the Magic Night, and is adamant she has the form on the board to be competitive.

“I was very happy to get a sit on her, I think that was very important,’’ he said.

“Now I’ve ridden her and I know her I think it’s beneficial heading into a race like the Golden Slipper.

“She ran second to Red Resistance and Learning To Fly at her first two starts and they are two leading hopes.

“She has the right form lines around her and I think she is one of the leading chances.”

The 26-year-old hoop has six Group 1 wins against his name and it comes as no surprise that the world’s richest race for two-year-olds is a race he has on his wish list.

Saturday will be his third Slipper ride following Ojai (fifth in 2022) and Madeenaty (10th in 2017).

“It’s one of the majors so from a very young age we dream to ride a Golden Slipper winner and hopefully we can bring that into fruition,’’ he said.

Zoustyle will be Bayliss’s mount in the Group 1 $1m The Galaxy (1100m) and while it’s his first ride on Tony Gollan’s sprinter he said there was merit in his fifth in the Oakleigh Plate and will get his chance with 53.5kg with the hoop likely to ride 0.5kg over.

“The Galaxy is one of those races where there’s a number of chances,’’ he said.

“But he makes his own luck up on speed and with a light weight I’m sure he’ll give them something to catch.”

The seven-year-old has raced at Rosehill just once and was unplaced as a $3.50 chance in the Maurice McCarten Stakes on Slipper Day in 2020.

– Racing NSW

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