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Golden Slipper countdown for Greta West Stud
Monday, 18 March 2019

Free Of Debt can end a long run of outs for Victorian-bred colts in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill this Saturday.

Canny Lad (Bletchingly) was the last Victorian-bred colt to win the Golden Slipper way back in 1990.  He was bred by the late Alec Dodson and went on to carve out a successful career at stud siring 55 stakes winners before being pensioned in 2011.

Free Of Debt (Unencumbered) was bred in Victoria’s north-east at Greta West Stud and is already assured of a start at stud after being purchased by Aquis Farm last month.  He has settled in perfectly since arriving in Sydney and trainer Chris Bieg can’t wait until the world’s richest juvenile race.

“He's doing everything right and handled the travel well,” Bieg said on Sunday.  “We’re stabled with Gerald Ryan here at Rosehill and the facilities are fantastic for keeping him nice and dry while enjoying the undercover walker.”

Free Of Debt won his first two starts at Morphettville and Flemington before a brave third in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.  "He was the first colt home in the Blue Diamond after carting them up in the straight,” Bieg said.  “A wet track shouldn’t be a problem, either.  He won a trial by three lengths on a Soft 7 at Randwick last week and I’m really excited with how well he pulled up.”

Greta West studmaster Laurie McCarthy is also counting down to the Golden Slipper although he may have to listen through ear-phones as it clashes with a wedding in Geelong.  “He was a nice foal and developed into a strong yearling for last year’s Adelaide Magic Millions.  But Unencumbered had sired just one or two winners at that stage and he only made $30,000.”

McCarthy has a Keep The Faith half-sister to Free Of Debt catalogued as Lot 141 through Bucklee Farm for the Inglis Gold Yearling Sale at Oaklands on April 30.  He also has a Master Of Design filly on the ground from their dam Stagerush (Giant's Causeway).

Stagerush was a Sandown winner for Limerick Lane’s Gerry Ryan and he sold her as a broodmare prospect to Greta West for $22,000 at the 2009 Inglis Great Southern Sale.  McCarthy gave her a year off this season and, win, lose or draw this Saturday, he can expect to trade up to a high-profile stallion come September.


FREE OF DEBT


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