Who better to break down this year’s Golden Slipper?
The lead-up to the 2017 edition has had an unusual feel to it. For the first time in nearly 20 years - 1998 to be exact - racing’s first lady doesn’t have a Slipper runner.
That said, she sure knows how to win one, and also knows what tactics she’d be employing, if she did had a runner in the $3.5 million classic on Saturday.
“I’d want to see them in a forward position,” Waterhouse told G1X.com.au.
“I’ve won six Slippers and it’s better if you're in a forward position because there’s less chance of soil coming back in your eye or a horse bumping into you.”
Much of the talk this week has been about the inevitable soft track, and how the winner will be a horse that’s strong over 1400m and the mile.
So does Waterhouse agree?
“Absolutely,” she said, “I’ve won two triple crowns with Dance Hero and Pierro, and one I was beaten a nostril by Samantha Miss with Sebring. The horse has to be able to run a mile.”
“It has to be a very tough horse, a talented horse… They can’t just be speedy squib.”
So with that in mind, which of the sixteen Slipper runners this year, would she like to be preparing for the race the most?
“I quite like the filly trained by Michael Freedman (Frolic), I think she’s a very talented filly and I liked the way she won the other day down the outside,” Waterhouse said.
“I’ve had (Frolic’s jockey) Tommy Berry win a Slipper for me by doing exactly what he did the other day; having the brains to read the track before the race, and then winning the race with Overreach.”
“He said to me, ‘You’ve got to be right on the fence… I know there’s a good strip there, I know I can win the race.’
“And I said, ‘Just go for it.’
“I saw exactly that with the filly the other day and I thought ‘Golly, Berry Brilliant again… BB!”
And which horse does Waterhouse think is the biggest danger to Frolic over the 1200m dash?
“I think the Magic Millions winner Houtzen is a good horse, very much so,” she said.