James McDonald will have to produce a "10 out of 10" ride to help Astern overcome a horror draw for Saturday's A$3.5 million Golden Slipper, according to former champion hoop Darren Beadman.
Now part of the Goldolphin team, Beadman had no luck drawing the barriers for the stable's trio of Astern, Telperion and Calliope at yesterday's draw for the big race at Rosehill.
John O'Shea's trio all drew wide, but Astern, the stable's top seed before the draw, fared the worst, picking up the extreme outside barrier, 17. The wide draw saw his price drift from $8 to $9.50.
Magic Night Stakes winner Calliope drew barrier 15, while Telperion landed in gate 12.
However, Beadman was quick to find a positive about Astern's wide draw.
"Vancouver won last year from a wide gate," he said. "This horse has got natural speed. He's in great order. He'll need a 10/10 ride from James [McDonald]."
Slipper favourite Extreme Choice ($2.80) drew well in barrier 7, while stablemate Flying Artie firmed from $6 to $5 after drawing barrier 5.
"It's the first time he's drawn a good barrier," trainer Mick Price said of Flying Artie, before confirming the colt was likely to be ridden more forward in the 1200m dash.
Extreme Choice, who worked impressively at Rosehill yesterday, held firm in betting.
"I think they're the best two colts in the race," Price said. "They will be very hard to beat, both of them." Price insists there isn't much between the stablemates after taking into account Flying Artie's luckless Blue Diamond run.
One-time Slipper favourite Capitalist was another winner from the draw, snaring gate 2. Gai Waterhouse's pair, Kiss And Make Up (9) and Scarlet Rain (16), had mixed fortunes.
Quick Feet, one of three runners for Peter and Paul Snowden, has drawn the rails.
Extreme Choice will race for new owners in the Slipper with Newgate Farm securing his stud future in a multimillion-dollar deal. Newgate's partners include the China Horse Club with Craig Newitt to wear their red and yellow colours when he rides Extreme Choice in the Slipper.
Meanwhile, trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will unleash Turn Me Loose in the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on Saturday where he meets top mare Winx while Mongolian Khan tackles the Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
-Daily Telegraph, Sydney, AAP