Golden Slipper 2017: Cessnock trio living the dream with She Will Reign

LIVING THE DREAM: Nick and Matthew Evans, and John Robertson.
LIVING THE DREAM: Nick and Matthew Evans, and John Robertson.

THREE Cessnock men who hoped to have a horse good enough to race on their local tracks will live the Golden Slipper dream with She Will Reign at Rosehill on Saturday.

Podiatrist Matthew Evans, 33, is one of 19 people or syndicates in the ownership of the Gary Portelli-trained Darby Racing filly, which cost $20,000 and has won $515,650 in four starts.

STAR: Jockey Ben Melham rides She Will Reign to win the Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill. Picture: bradleyphotos.com.au

STAR: Jockey Ben Melham rides She Will Reign to win the Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill. Picture: bradleyphotos.com.au

Evans, his younger brother, Nick, and their friend, John Robertson, paid about $2300 between them for a five per cent share of She Will Reign, which was a $4.40 favourite for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200 metres) at Rosehill. The winner takes home $2 million.

It is the first venture into ownership for Matthew Evans and Robertson, who works in the mining industry along with Nick.

“We would have been happy if it raced at just Cessnock, or Taree or Newcastle,” Matthew said. “We never even dreamt of going to Sydney, let alone the Slipper. It’s been fantastic.

Nick and Matthew Evans at the Golden Slipper barrier draw this week.

Nick and Matthew Evans at the Golden Slipper barrier draw this week.

“We hit it lucky. My brother’s always been into racing and we spoke about it for a while and for months we were sending emails about possible ones, then this one came up. He always liked Manhattan Rain, the sire, so he said, ‘why don’t we do it?’.”

Matthew Evans, John Robertson and Nick Evans.

Matthew Evans, John Robertson and Nick Evans.

Newcastle trainer Kris Lees will chase group 1 victory with Le Romain (George Ryder Stakes) and Felines (The Galaxy) and a group 3 with Zestful (Birthday Card Stakes). Paul Perry has Hollywood Mo in the Rosehill Guineas and Conchita in the listed Darby Munro Stakes. Scone trainer Rodney Northam and Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson team with Big Money in The Galaxy. Lees' The Wasp, Raido and Twist Tops, Perry’s Gadfly and Alan Scorse’s What Could Be are in the Provincial Championships qualifier.