Slipper sparkles for Stokes

An impressive debut. Magical Slipper pins the ears back and races clear for victory on her home track at Pakenham. 292078 Pictures: PAT SCALA/RACING PHOTOS

By David Nagel

“Magical Slipper, there’s not much of her, but she’s all racehorse, and she comes away for an easy kill first up.”

The words of race-caller Terry Bailey were spot on the mark after Magical Slipper scored a soft debut victory on her home track in the $35,000 Maiden Plate (1200m) at Pakenham on Thursday.

The slightly-built filly, by Swear/Westend Magic, ended her days as a two-year-old by racing away from her opposition to score by over three lengths on the line.

Jockey Daniel Moor settled the filly just off a hot speed before taking the lead at the 200-metre mark and careering away for victory.

Pakenham trainer Phillip Stokes was thrilled with the filly’s performance.

“That was better than expected actually, I thought 1200 might see her out, but she was strong,” Stokes said.

“We’ll give her a little break now, and we’ll see her at the back-end of the spring somewhere, she can only keep on improving, yeah, nice filly.”

Magical Slipper was a bargain-buy purchase for Jack Savaglia, head of 21st Century Racing, who purchased the filly for just $1000.

But, despite her insignificant price tag, there’s a serious motor under the hood, as Moor was happy to find out.

“It’s obviously very rewarding in that aspect of things ($1000), but I was taken by her trial when I went through her form, and I thought she would be well-and-truly educated enough to be competitive in a race like today,” Moor said.

“She’s very honest, and very well educated, and that probably took her a long way today in that field.

“She’s got room for improvement, strengthening and maturity wise, which she will need to do because she’s quite small, but the main thing is she’s a winner.

“When I asked her for an effort, she really pinned the ears back and put them away well.

“That’s a start; let’s just see what level of progression she’s got in her.”

Moor has been a regular acquaintance of Stokes in the winners’ stall of late, and is happy to be on board for the ride.

“Ben Allen is out at the moment and Phillip had to look to other areas to find jockeys and I was the lucky benefactor,” Moor said.

“We seem to click well, we’re both on the same page when it comes to form and how to ride the horses, so for the time being it’s working well.”

With the 2021/22 season ending on July 31, Stokes took time to reflect on a season of change that did conjure up some significant highlights.

“It’s been an okay season, a couple of our better horses have retired obviously, but I thought winning the Adelaide Cup with Daqiansweet Junior was a big thrill,” he said.

“Mr Quickie and Instant Celebrity were retired, but we look forward to the new season with confidence.

“It’s been okay, but I think we will only build on it this season moving forward.”