It will be apt if popular sprinter Ringo’s A Rockstar can win the Open Handicap at Eagle Farm on the same day the Silver Slipper is run in Sydney.
Ringo’s A Rockstar won seven races when trained by the late Norm ” Whopper” Stephens who died a week short of his 88th birthday in March last year.
Stephens won hundreds of races as a jockey including the Group One Stradbroke Handicap on Bally Vista and the Group One Queensland Derby on Minto Craig.
But one of his greatest moments was as a trainer when Ballook won the 1987 Silver Slipper.
A major lead up to next month’s $3.5 million Golden Slipper, the Silver Slipper is at Rosehill on Saturday.
Ballook is the last Queensland horse to win the Silver Slipper and the annual race day always brought happy memories for Stephens.
His son Wayne Stephens now trains Ringo’s A Rockstar in a small team at Deagon in Brisbane’s bayside.
Ringo’s A Rockstar was having his first start since December, 2018 when sixth, beaten 1-1/2 lengths behind Just Orm, in an Open Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast a month ago.
Stephens had hoped to run Ringo’s A Rockstar at the Sunshine Coast two weeks ago but the meeting was washed out twice.
It was not a major problem for Stephens who was keen to get Ringo’s A Rockstar back to Eagle Farm.
“He does have a good record at the Sunshine Coast but the big Eagle Farm track also suits him,” Stephens said.
“Unfortunately, Ringo’s A Rockstar injured a suspensory ligament at his previous start a year ago.
“It wasn’t serious as those types of injuries go but we gave him plenty of time off. There is no use taking risks with good horses.”