Slipper Champ Ready For Weighty Task In Percy Sykes

Golden Slipper champion Lady Of Camelot will need to break a weight carrying record if she’s to continue her two-year-old dominance in Saturday’s Group 2 $1 million TAB Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.

Under the set weights and penalties conditions of the race, that has had a few iterations in its time, the Slipper winner will carry the full penalty with 59kg which is 1kg more than the current mark set by Everage in 2013.

Adrian Bott (Pic: Bradley Photos).

Co-trainer Adrian Bott said the decision was made to save Lady Of Camelot from last week’s Inglis Sires’ in favour of the Percy Sykes against the fillies despite the leveller of the extra weight.

“It’s not going to make it easy for her but she’s gone ahead really well,’’ Bott said.

“She’s been the dominant filly all the way through so I think it’s a weight she can carry and be effective. She hasn’t gone backwards by any means since the Slipper.”

It’s not gone unnoticed that while all the talk through the season has been about the colts, it’s been the fillies that have claimed each Group 1 in 2023/24 so far.

Bott, and Gai Waterhouse, have been responsible for producing many of the headliners and he said the fillies certainly have been the quiet achievers.

“The colts have had some tough racing against each other, maybe the timing’s been right for the fillies,’’ he said.

“The last month it has been interesting to see that swing and the upward form of the fillies.

“Keeping (Lady Of Camelot) to 1200m is going to be a positive, she came through the Slipper in great shape.”

Lady Of Camelot, $2.80 with TAB on Tuesday, has drawn one gate to the outside of stablemate Too Darn Lizzie who reappears since running third in the Reisling Stakes (1200m) a month ago.

Tim Clark has been on board Too Darn Lizzie in both starts and her recent trial and Bott said she’s an emerging filly who shouldn’t be underestimated.

“She was very honest in the Reisling, she stuck on very well,’’ he said.

“She’s improved and had a nice trial at Newcastle in between to keep her up to the mark but I think with every bit of racing she’s maturing well and going the right way.”

Military Mission heads a trio from the Waterhouse/Bott yard chasing the stable’s fourth win in the Group 1 $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) and Bott said the barrier draw will be a help to the top weight.

In-form stayer Serpentine and last year’s Derby winner Major Beel complete the trio.

Bott said Military Mission will appreciate racing in a big field having taken on weight-for-age at his last two lead ups.

“He’s just been racing a little out of his comfort zone in small fields and tactics wise he’s just had to race out of position,’’ he said.

“From a wide draw on Saturday we might ride him a bit more conservatively and more in line with his pattern.

“There wasn’t much speed on paper in the Tancred so we led. He’s probably a better horse when he can settle and he’ll be forced to do that with the draw.

“He’s been an incredibly consistent horse for us, it looks a lovely race for him and I’m happy to test him over two miles again.”

Serpentine beat Military Mission in the Randwick City Stakes at 2000m on March 9 and stayed at that trip two weeks ago when winning the Neville Sellwood.

He’s yet to be placed in four starts at two miles and beyond which is Bott’s obvious query.

“I feel this is the best form we’ve been able to have the horse in since we’ve had him,’’ he said.

“He’s been very tough in his two performances to date, he’s had a good grounding and now’s the time to try and attempt the 3200m once again.”

Derby winner Major Beel has had a very different build up to the Sydney Cup with hurdle trials used prior to his first-up run in the Pakenham Cup over 2500m and an improved fourth in the Roy Higgins two weeks ago.

“I felt he was going through the motions at the start of the campaign,’’ he said.

“We looked to change the routine a bit for him and off his last run it looks to have worked to an extent. He’ll enjoy the sting out of the ground and he’s in great shape.”

– Racing NSW

Share this article