April 2, 2007Slipper Day Revenge A Decade On

Slipper Day Revenge A Decade On

By Nathan Exelby – www.racingandsports.com.au

Encounter, the Clarry Conners trained colt raced by Newhaven Park, was the best sprinter-miler two and three-year-old of his generation.

But one race was missing from his CV that most probably should have been there – the Golden Slipper.

Encounter ranged up to win the 1997 Golden Slipper, but veered out sharply on jockey Shane Dye in the closing stages and as a consequence, went down narrowly to the Woodlands-owned Guineas.

Winning the Slipper would have given his own sire Tierce the honour of being both a winner of the race and a winning sire (Flying Spur became the latest stallion to join that elite club when Forensics won on Saturday).

Exactly 10 years on, Encounter had his biggest ever result as a sire (and coincidentally, Woodlands also won its first Slipper since 1997 as well).

Fittingly, it came on Golden Slipper day, although hardly in the race one would have expected.

Encounter is the sire of Blutigeroo, impressive winner of The BMW (2400m) on Saturday.

It was the Colin Little trained five-year-old gelding’s 11th win in 29 starts and took his earnings beyond $1.5million – not a bad return on the $10,000 he cost as a yearling at the 2003 William Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

It gave William Inglis the big double, as Forensics is a $900,000 of its 2006 Easter Sale.

Blutigeroo is one of 53 live foals from Encounter’s 2001 crop.

Encounter was Australia’s Champion two-year-old in 1996-97, atoning for his Slipper defeat by easily winning the AJC Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes at his next two starts.

He trained on at three to win the George Main Stakes, Caulfield Guineas, Futurity Stakes and Chipping Norton Stakes, to give him a career haul of six G1 wins.

But like his own sire Tierce, the chestnut was not able to translate that success at stud.

Blutigeroo is one of just three stakes winners by Encounter, the others being Listed winner Tully Bellotto and Group 3 winner Aunty Betty.

After six seasons at Newhaven Park, Encounter’s popularity had diminished and in 2004 he was exported to China.

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