Rae Fletcher and family connections on course at Rosehill to cheer home sunlight.
Rae Fletcher and family connections on course at Rosehill to cheer home sunlight. Contributed

Sunlight ran a close call in million dollar Golden Slipper

EMERALD retailer Rae Fletcher and her family ventured to Sydney from Emerald for last weekends $3.5 million dollar Golden Slipper to cheer on their glamour Filly Sunlight.

They rubbed shoulders and stood side by side with the Racing world's most elite, and their star galloper did them proud running a gallant third place.

The race was won by $1.7 million dollar yearling Estijaab, who showed blinding speed out of barrier 14, crossing the Slipper field to find the inside rail within 300m. She was never headed.

Estijaab who is raced by Emirates Park stud, owned by His Excellency Nasser Lootah, prevailed after a daring front running ride by Brenton Avdulla to narrowly lower the colours of the two Tony McEvoy trained stable mates Oohood ($17.00) in second place and the Emerald owned Sunlight ($5.00) a further length away in third.

Sunlight still picked up a cool $300,000 for her all lady owners.

Speaking on behalf of owners Rae, Shannon and Jordan, Sunlight's breeder Dan Fletcher explained the family were incredibly proud of sunlight on the day, and thought her run was exceptional.

"She had quite a few things go against her, and she was incredibly brave,” Mr Fletcher said.

"Credit goes to Estijaab and her jockey Brenton Avdulla. She's a special filly and a worthy winner.”

When questioned about the ride of Jockey Luke Currie, Fletcher was diplomatic.

"Jockeys win races, and on the day Brenton Avdulla on Estijaab pulled their pants down,” he said.

"Fair play to him. People have been very critical of Luke. It's complicated the way races pan out and jockeys have to make split second decisions like any sportsman.

"It's a weekend our whole family who was in attendance will never forget, Widden Stud arranged great hospitality at the races for us.

"Rae finally got to meet the other lady owners in the syndicate, and see Sunlight in the flesh who is just the most beautiful girl.

"Our trainer Tony McEvoy was wonderful. And I got to meet and thank Sarah, the strapper who has put her heart and soul into looking after sunlight.”

Mr Fletcher said going forward, the star filly would be sent for an immediate spell in readiness for the Spring Carnival and possibly be aimed at the $1 million Coolmore Stud stakes, a 1200 metre straight six group one race on Derby day for three-year-olds.

He said "Golden Slipper winners tend to have a worse record of training on than placegetters for some reason, so maybe we just take defeat in the Slipper as a good omen”.

"A lot of these gun two year olds don't go on with it,” he said.