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Romantic Moon confirms Slipper start
Caryl Williamson
17:04 AEST Sat Mar 16 2013

Saturday's two-year-old winners at Warwick Farm have tightened dramatically for the Golden Slipper but former leading contender Assail's hopes have been battered.

All The Talk, who confirmed his place in the field with victory in the Skyline Stakes, is now $17 from $51 while Romantic Moon, winner of the fillies qualifier, the Sweet Embrace, has gone from $101 to $26.

Assail's price has doubled with the TAB to $26 after her unplaced effort in the Sweet Embrace (1200m).

Romantic Moon was a drifter before the Group Three race, opening at $9 before as much as $17 was bet.

She started at $15 with her trainer John O'Shea ruing his decision to take $12.

"I was very confident and I thought she was a $5 chance so I took $12 and all she did was blow like a southerly," O'Shea said.

"I was happy after her run in the Silver Slipper on a wet track from a wide alley."

James McDonald had Romantic Moon just behind the pace while the well-backed favourite Assail ($1.85) was back in the field after a slow start.

Romantic Moon had the drop on the leaders and strode forward under confident riding from McDonald to beat Thump ($26) by a length.

Assail couldn't get clear running and failed to run on, finishing sixth, six lengths from the winner who is owned by Gooree Stud.

O'Shea admitted Romantic Moon still had a bit to learn if she was to be effective in the $3.5 million Slipper in three weeks.

"I'd like to see her a bit closer in a Slipper," he said.

"We'll look at maybe winkers or blinkers just to keep her focused."

In contrast to O'Shea, Assail's trainer Clarry Conners was scratching his head after the filly's performance.

Assail was the raging favourite for the Magic Millions in January but was a race morning scratching with a deep-seated foot abscess which Conners thought had come good.

"I'm disappointed," he said. "She was disappointing.

"She stood there flat footed and then didn't go on.

"I've had a quick look at her foot and it seems fine so we'll have a better look later."

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Overreach remains the Golden Slipper favourite ahead of Villa Verde with the pair due to clash in next week's Reisling Stakes.