Overreach Fifth Slipper Winner for Waterhouse
Gai Waterhouse had a pretty good feeling last winter that Overreach would win the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (Aus-I), and the filly delivered her trainer a fifth victory in the world's richest 2-year-old race April 6 at Rosehill Gardens.
Overreach got a perfectly timed ride along the rail under Tommy Berry. She raced just behind the frontrunners, then angled out to the center of the track in early stretch, taking charge while lengthening stride to secure a clear win from fast-closing Sidestep.
Overreach was timed in 1:11 on turf rated slow to win as the favorite in the 16-horse field. Her 1 3/4-length victory over Sidestep marked a one-two finish for Darley's dual-hemisphere sire Exceed And Excel, who also shuttles to Darley's Dalham Hall Stud in England.
Sidestep finished a length in front of third-place finisher Sweet Idea, another Waterhouse trainee. Guelph, also by Exceed And Excel, finished fourth.
Overreach, who has three wins and a second from four career starts, is the third consecutive Golden Slipper winner sired by a Darley stallion. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's global breeding operation won with the Elusive Quality colt Sepoy in 2011 and with the Lonhro colt Pierro in 2012.
Waterhouse recalled her reaction to Overreach's promising track work last winter that led her to predict this year's Golden Slipper winner.
"I immediately rang my owner, George Altomonte, and said his filly Overreach would win the Golden Slipper—I don't know if he believed me."
Waterhouse also is the trainer of Pierro, who earlier on the card won the George Ryder Stakes (Aus-I). She won Golden Slipper with Sebring (2008), Dance Hero (2004), and Ha Ha (2001) as well.
"I knew as soon as she (broke) so well that the race was as good as over," Waterhouse told the Daily Telegraph about Overreach, who won a third consecutive race and her first at the top level. She entered with back-to-back triumphs in the Feb. 16 Widden Stakes and March 23 Moet & Chandon Reisling Stakes (Aus-II), both at Rosehill, by a combined margin of 10 lengths.
"She's been the best 2-year-old all season," Waterhouse said. "I don't think I've trained a better 2-year-old filly and certainly she is up there with my other Golden Slipper winners."
Altomonte bred Overreach out of the undefeated Snippets mare Bahia, a half sister to 2009 Blue Diamond Stakes (Aus-I) winner Reward For Effort, also by Exceed And Excel. He is the sire of 68 stakes winners, including five group I winners, from seven crops of racing age.
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