Trainer Gai Waterhouse has set her sights on a record-breaking seventh Golden Slipper after Santos won the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) on Saturday afternoon.
Santos was dominant when winning the Pierro Plate (1100m) first up, and although he failed to match that performance, still did enough to win the two-year-old feature.
I really think he's a serious chance in the Slipper, he's a horse that has got a beautiful action.Gai Waterhouse
Santos was under pressure as the finish line approached but managed to hold on to defeat the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Spin and Gerald Ryan's Legend Of Condor by a half neck and short head respectively.
The win was enough to book his place in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in three weeks' time, and has Waterhouse dreaming of her seventh win.
Santos is 1/1 on a win and each way bet to win the Golden Slipper with Sunlight 4/1 and Performer priced at 13/2.
Waterhouse, who is into her second season of training in partnership with Adrian Bott, said the soft track conditions and a head wind in the home straight were significant factors in assessing the comparatively slow race time of 1:11.15.
But Santos came through, and for Waterhouse, that said it all.
"This is a serious colt and I'll tell you why he's a serious colt, because things were against him today, they really were," Waterhouse said.
"I thought it was interesting what Tim (Clark - jockey) said about the wind. It was blowing quite strongly, and the ground is a bit soft so you can't use your turn of foot quite as well.
"But I really think he's a serious chance in the Slipper, he's a horse that has got a beautiful action."
Meanwhile, Hartnell is 1/1 to win the Australian Cup next weekend.
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