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Waller strengthens Golden Slipper squad

Chris Waller will have Golden Slipper numbers on his side for the first time after Shaquero claimed a ballot-free passage into the world’s richest two-year-old race.

Shaquero, winner of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, locked in a berth for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper with a tenacious victory in the Pago Pago Stakes at Rosehill.

The colt will join stablemates O’President and Home Affairs in the Golden Slipper, a signature Sydney thoroughbred race that has eluded Waller.

Undisputed as Sydney’s best trainer after a more than a decade of dominance, Waller has had limited Golden Slipper runners.

But as the winner of the early-season Breeders’ Plate as well as the Magic Millions, Shaquero has enough going for him to deliver Waller overdue success in next week’s race.

And Waller expects the youngster to train on from Saturday’s win as he employs a campaign template that delivered Magic Millions glory.

“He ran a week before winning the Magic Millions and he does pretty well between runs,” Waller said.

“And if you can relate to that, he needs to be kept up to the mark and he’ll be fitter again in seven days.”

James Cummings was looking for Ingratiating to confirm his Golden Slipper bona fides but the Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up could finish only fifth as the $2.80 favourite.

Cummings had struck earlier in a Golden Slipper qualifier for fillies when Arcaded beat six rivals in the Magic Night Stakes although he was reluctant to commit to running her again next week.

“We’ll give ourselves the opportunity to weigh up the rating of the race and strength of the race,” the Godolphin trainer said.

Cummings has now won the past three editions of the Magic Night, using the race as the 2019 Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi’s lead-in.

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