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Part-owner Fergus Doyle has played his small role in the rise of James Harron’s two-year-old empire in the past couple of years and once again he did his job at a Golden Slipper barrier draw on Tuesday.
Doyle pulled out the ball with four on it for Pariah’s barrier in Saturday’s $3.5 million feature and it added to a body of work that includes two twos and a nine, from the man with the barrier midas’ touch.
“There is a lot more important work than me picking the barrier for a horse to get here [to the Golden Slipper],” Doyle said. “James does a great job picking the right horses and Peter and Paul Snowden get them ready and peak for the big races. We have been fortunate to have a great ride with them.
“It is good to get a single number [barrier] again and each time I do it I think my luck is going to run down.
“It was a relief.”
Harron’s dark green silk have become well known with his colt syndicates racing some of the best two-year-olds in the land since its inception in 2015.
Doyle chose the barrier for Capitalist in his Magic Millions and Golden Slipper wins last year when he pulled out barrier two on both occasions. For Pariah’s second in the Blue Diamond he selected nine in another blind draw.
That barrier didn’t prove as fortunate as it looked for Pariah, as he was forced to travel three-wide outside on the leaders and was run down in the shadows of the post by Catchy, who is again a rival on Saturday.
“It is a job not many people want to do because there is pressure and while my luck is in I’ll keep doing it,” Doyle said.
Peter Snowden only confirmed Pariah, who won the Canonbury Stakes debut in Sydney, as a Golden Slipper runner on Tuesday after he showed he was at his best following his tough effort in the Blue Diamond.
“He is 100 per cent and has a good barrier, but it is going to come down a bit to weather and how the track plays on Saturday,” Snowden said.
“He has been very good in his three runs and I think if he gets the right run from the gate he will be hard to beat.”
Pariah is the leading colt of this Golden Slipper and shortened from $9 to $8.50 after the good draw. But fillies dominate the top of betting.
Unbeaten Magic Millions winner Houtzen remains the $4.20 favourite at Sportsbet even after drawing gate 16, while $5.50 second pick She Will Reign only fared a little better with 13, which will become 11 if the emergencies are scratched.
Blue Diamond winner Catchy, who is unbeaten in four starts, was backed from $7 to $5.50 after getting gate eight.
Houtzen’s trainer Toby Edmonds believes she is going better than before the Magic Millions, where she led all-the-way from the outside barrier.
“I’m hopeful more than confident now after the barrier,” Edmonds said.
Edmonds, like She Will Reign’s trainer Gary Portelli, was just as concerned about the weather, which could lead to testing conditions on Saturday, as their barriers.
“Eleven is my lucky number and if you had asked me before the draw I would have said six to 10 would be ideal. ” Portelli said. “She will be able to get the right run but it is going to come down to how the track is playing come race time.
“A wide draw might not be a disadvantage at all on a heavy track.”
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