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19/03/02 Snowland Draws Terribly as Bel Esprit Gets the Inside
Unbeaten Melbourne colt Bel Esprit looks assured of starting a warm favourite for Saturday's $2.5 million AAMI Golden Slipper at Rosehill after drawing the inside barrier this afternoon.

The John Symons trained colt, who has worked impressively three times at the track this week, had already claimed favouritism with both the fixed odds betting and bookmakers before his perfect draw.

The NSW TAB fixed odds service has reacted quickly to the barrier draw by installing Bel Esprit a $3 chance (in from $4.25 last night). Chosir has drifted a dollar to $6, while Victory Vein drifted $2 but remains the third fancy at $7.50.

Apart from Bel Esprit there were no other firmers in the betting. Yell retained it's price of $9, while Calaway Gal ($15), Brief Embrace ($17), Fatoon ($21) and Dama de Noche ($26) all remained steady.

On the other hand another boom colt, the Sydneysider Snowland, fared terribly with barrier 14 in the field of 15. Yell fared only marginally better in 13.

It was not a good afternoon for Gai Waterhouse, who's other runner, the Magic Millions runner-up Chuckle, drew barrier ten alongside Lee Freedman's Dama de Noche (11) and Paul Perry's second favourite Choisir (9).

Bede Murray's chances of taking the Slipper with his flying filly Victory Vein may have been dented slightly after she drew gate twelve for Danny Beasley.

The likely improver in the big race could be the Brisbane filly Calaway Gal. Trained by Bruce Brown, the filly will jump from gate six for Scott Seamer.

Shane Dye's chances of winning an other Slipper were enhanced today when his mount, the Clarry Conners trained Fatoon, drew barrier four. Conners has two other runners in the race, Italian Adventure and De Lollies, and both also received excellent barriers - seven and two respectively.

Fans of the female brigade will be excited to know for the first time in the race's history there is an "all-girl" combination.

The Peta Wheatley trained filly Whiskey On Ice will start at long odds despite drawing perfectly in barrier three. She will be ridden by leading female hoop Bernadette Cooper.

The complete barrier draw with probable riders is as follows:

01 1111 BEL ESPRIT (John Symons) (1) Wayne Treloar 55.5
02 2112 CHOISIR (Paul Perry) (9) Lenny Beasley 55.5
03 0111 SNOWLAND (Gai Waterhouse) (14) Chris Munce 55.5
04 4211 PLANCHET (John Hawkes) (13) Darren Beadman 55.5
05 3212 YELL (John Hawkes) (8) Rod Quinn 55.5
06   033 ITALIAN ADVENTURE (Clarry Conners) (7) Darryl McLellan 55.5
07 4111 VICTORY VEIN (Bede Murray) (12) Danny Beasley 55.5
08 1132 CALAWAY GAL (Bruce Brown) (6) Scott Seamer 55.5
09   611 FATOON (Clarry Conners) (4) Shane Dye 55.5
10 2123 BRIEF EMBRACE (Peter Moody) (5) Jim Cassidy 53.0
11 0111 DAMA DE NOCHE (Lee Freedman) (11) Corey Brown 53.0
12 2221 CHUCKLE (Gai Waterhouse) (10) Brian York 53.0
13     10 DE LOLLIES (Clarry Conners) (2) Stathi Katsidis 53.0
14 1210 WHISKEY ON ICE (Peta Wheatley) (3) Bernadette Cooper 53.0
15   192 BEFORE TOO LONG (Gary Portelli) (15) Larry Cassidy 53.0

The latest NSW TAB fixed odds betting on the Slipper is as follows:

$3.00 ($1.75) BEL ESPRIT
$6.00 ($2.00) Choisir
$7.50 ($2.10) Victory Vein
$8.50 ($2.10) Snowland
$9.00 ($3.00) Yell
$12.00 ($3.50) Planchet
$15.00 ($4.50) Calaway Gal
$17.00 ($4.50) Chuckle
$17.00 ($5.00) Brief Embrace
$21.00 ($6.00) Fatoon
$26.00 ($7.25) Dama de Noche
$126.00 ($32.25) De Lollies, Whiskey On Ice
$151.00 ($32.35) Before Too Long
$251.00 ($38.50) Italian Adventure

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