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Switzerland Another Slipper Contender for Sir Peter Vela

Switzerland lived up to that high billing, sitting on the outside of the leader before pouncing in the straight. Shangri La Express fought back hard, but Switzerland slowly but surely edged ahead to score by just under a length for jockey James McDonald.

“He was in foreign territory there, being outside the leader,” McDonald said. “It wasn’t ideal, but this performance adds another string to his bow.

“He feels extremely talented and I just love how smooth he is, he takes everything in his stride. It was my first ride on him on raceday, and you don't really know what you've got, so I gave him a little squeeze out and he was in no man's land. I was too far committed to go back, so I just ended up there. But it’s a testament to the horse, he had to be good.”

Waller trained Shinzo to win last year’s A$5m Golden Slipper at Rosehill, and he sees promising signs in Switzerland’s build-up so far.

“Today was a new learning curve for him,” Waller said. “We made use of him from the barrier and he had to do a little bit of work. He hasn't really been outside the leader before, he's done most of his work behind horses and pretty much stays there.

“The second horse is no slouch, too. He made us work the last 100 metres. The penny will start to drop now for Switzerland as we get deeper into our plans.

“I can guarantee he hasn't been wound down yet. We're still four or five weeks away from our grand final and I don't want to know what's there yet – I want to see it on Golden Slipper Day.

“We'll let Switzerland tell us where he's at, that's what I learned from Shinzo. We don't need to change anything, keep to basics, keep sight of when the big races are on and have the horses ready to go.”

Switzerland’s two-start, two-win career has so far earned A$210,000 in stakes for Sir Peter Vela and fellow owners Coolmore, Wynaus, Westerberg, Joe Poulin, Lynque, Woppitt Bloodstock, Peachester Lodge, Rockingham Thoroughbreds, Aristia Park Bloodstock and Chris Waller.

Switzerland is by four-time champion Australian sire Snitzel and is the first named foal out of the Canadian-bred mare Ms Bad Behaviour (Blame), who won at Grade Three and Listed level and was a Grade Two placegetter. Ms Bad Behaviour is a half-sister to two stakes winners, and her dam Cumulonimble (Stormy Atlantic) was also a multiple black-type winner.

Switzerland was bought by Tom Magnier for A$1.5m from Arrowfield Stud’s draft at the Sydney Easter Yearling Sale last year.