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Serenade Gains Slipper Berth

There is excitement building at Ballymore Stables leading up to Sydney's big race day with our Golden Slipper Stakes first emergency sneaking a run with the Friday afternoon scratching of Look To The Stars.

Despite the fact that our Slipper candidate is quoted at cricket score odds, there is a level of confidence with Serenade's form a lot better than it looks on paper.

Kicking off her campaign with a stunning five length victory at Rosehill in early February, the daughter of Star Witness was an unlucky third in the Inglis Classic - doing plenty of work on pace but never giving in.

From there she headed to the Magic Night Stakes where again fortune failed to smile on her, Serenade drifting back and wide, doing plenty of work before running on strongly behind all the way winner Speak Fondly.

And since that race last weekend she has pleased the stable, Michael Moroney noting that she is a filly who just continues to improve.

"She has eaten up well and she looks terrific - we really think that she can acquit herself well."

"Apart from the favourite Vancouver - who has drawn out wide - it looks an even race and she is a really good chance despite her odds."

"We think she was unlucky not to win the Magic Night and she would not be 100-1 if she had."

To jump from barrier seven with Craig Williams, Serenade is one of the least expensive Slipper runners, the $26,000 Classic Sale bargain already winning well over double her purchase price.

A half-sister to dual Listed winner Stratum Star, Serenade - who is raced by Ballymore Stables, Eliza Park International Syndicate, Sun Bloodstock Pty Ltd and Karen Glindemann - has as her fourth dam one of the legends of the Australian turf, the champion Emancipation.

Whilst all eyes will be on Rosehill we also have runners at Bendigo and Camperdown kicking off with Habitual Offender.

Contesting the opening event on Bendigo's Saturday stand alone card, Habitual Offender is having his first run since early December.

"He is better known as a stayer," Moroney said of the Guillotine four-year-old, "but he does have a bit of speed and he has come back a stronger horse this time in,"

"He is going as well as he can and is not without a cheeky place chance."

Meanwhile at Camperdown we saddle up Scarlet Vixen who unfortunately has been a bit disappointing to date.

"She is on her last chance but hopefully she can show improvement up to the 1600m as she has been working well."

We have just the one runner on Sunday, Nordic Duke second up in the Geelong Racing Club 150th Anniversary Cup.

Doing his best work late when resuming over 1400m at Sandown, the Viking Ruler gelding will appreciate a step up to 1700m.

"He drew the outside gate last time and it was a very good run with Patrick Moloney telling us he would've finished in the first three from a better barrier."

"He has drawn better this time in barrier seven and he looks hard to beat."

[20 Mar 15]

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