Golden Slipper Breeding Overview... By Kristen Manning

Danehill the breed shaper who stood at Arrowfield Stud.

Danehill the breed shaper who stood at Arrowfield Stud.

The $3.5 million Group One Golden Slipper Stakes, the world's richest two-year-old race, is a test of pure early speed.

For decades Hunter Valley breeders have been focused on it, resulting in generations of horses bred for one thing, the Rosehill 1200m.

Early days Star Kingdom was a perfect Slipper fit and he sired the race's first five winners - Todman, Skyline, Fine And Dandy, Sky High and Magic Night.

In the modern era it has been Danehill whose genetic precocity has made the Slipper his domain. In 1991 in his debut crop he produced 1994 winner Danzero and he made it three in a row with Flying Spur and Merlene.

Catbird and Ha Ha would follow and then Danehill's sons started to make their mark; Danzero (Dance Hero), Redoute's Choice (Stratum, Miss Finland), Flying Spur (Forensics) and Exceed And Excel (Overreach). And in 2010 Stratum sired the winner Crystal Lily, another generation of juvenile dash.

This year 13 of the 19 acceptors (68.4%) are members of the Danehill line, six of those being by Redoute's Choice's son Snitzel.

Snitzel (who was an unplaced favourite in the 2005 Slipper won by Stratum) is yet to be represented by a Slipper winner but with 31.5% of the field the odds are in his favour in 2017.

And what an interestingly bred group of horses his progeny are, starting with the Black Opal Stakes winner Trapeze Artist whose crosses of Bletchingly and Storm Bird are supported by a 6 X 6 cross of famed matriarch Best In Show, fourth dam of Redoute's Choice. A descendant of Phar Lap's dam Entreaty, he is out of a half-sister to the Stradbroke Handicap winner Crawling.

Invader is a half-brother to high class Hong Kong galloper Not Listenin'tome out of the Listed winner Flame Of Sydney whilst Menari is also out of a stakes winner, the General Nediym mare Isurava who hails from the family of Tie The Knot.

Teaspoon is one of four stakes winners produced by her dam Patronella; Smytzer's Trish, Aliyana Tilde and Stella Artois the others whilst Chauffeur who, at $1.6 million is the most expensive yearling purchase in the field, is out of the Magic Millions winner Mirror Mirror. This is a family known for its speed though its ancestress Rainbird won the 1945 Melbourne Cup!

Another Snitzel with a bit of stamina in the dam line is Showtime whose grandam Electronic won the Metropolitan Handicap. He is however a full brother to the Group One sprinter Sweet Idea who was a game third in Overreach's Golden Slipper.

Also yet to sire a Slipper winner is Fastnet Rock. A horse who finished fourth in Dance Hero's Slipper, he has two runners this year; the Blue Diamond winner Catchy (daughter of three times Group winner Cats Whisker) and the Blue Diamond placegetter Formality (son of star Singapore mare Jolie's Shinju). Fastnet Rock is also grandsire, via Hinchinbrook (fourth in Crystal Lily's Slipper) of Skyline Stakes winner Diamond Tathagata whose grandam is the stakes winning juvenile Marwell Lady.

Not A Single Doubt doesn't yet have a Slipper winner on his resume either but has a contender in Pago Pago Stakes winner Single Bullet. The grandson of 1000 Guineas/Flight Stakes winner Dashing Eagle is bred on a 3 X 3 Danehill cross. Also doubling up on the Danehill is Choisir's son The Mission whose grandam is the Group One winning two-year-old Carry On Cutie.

The Mission's dam sire is Redoute's Choice - also dam sire of Frolic (by Husson out of the Group Three mare Leveller from the family of Slipper placegetters Shovhog and Startling Lass) and Trekking (by Street Cry out of daughter of dual Oaks winner Serenade Rose) and sire of toppie Pariah (from the family of past Slipper contenders Zeditave and Melito)

The sire of Overreach, Exceed And Excel has Madeenaty in this year's race. Hailing from the family of Bletchingly, she is out of the triple Group winner Set For Fame whose sire Reset is also dam sire of the favourite Houtzen. From the family of Century, the daughter of I Am Invincible boasts a 3 X 5 cross of 1990 Golden Slipper winner Canny Lad.

There is further Sir Tristram influence via Magic Night winner Tulip (daughter of 2012 Slipper winner Pierro and the Vanity Stakes winner Musidora whose third dam is the great mare Fanfreluche) and Veranillo (by Vancouver's sire Medaglia d'Oro out of the city winning Lonhro mare Shelters).

Each of the horses mentioned have Danehill in their pedigree somewhere... only She Will Reign, one of the major contenders, being free of his influence!

Also the cheapest horse in the race - costing just $20,000 - the daughter of Manhattan Rain (third in Phelan Ready's Slipper) is a great granddaughter of the Reisling Slipper Trial winner Sunshine Sally who was sixth to Courtza in the big race.

Another interesting point about this year's Slipper is that 13 of the 19 runners (68.4%) are by stallions who ran in the race themselves. Of those the most successful were Pierro (first, 2012), Manhattan Rain (third, 2009) and Choisir (third, 2002).