Well bred Lonhro filly Almanzora gets her chance to live up to the hype surrounding her when she steps out in the Group 2 $600,000 IG Share Trading Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on day two of ‘The Championships’ on Saturday.
Trainer John O’Shea rates Almanzora as the best filly in his two year old crop and is confident she can her handle the step up to Group 2 company after scoring a first up win in an 1100m 2yo Handicap at Warwick Farm on March 8.
“We’ve always felt that she’s as good a two-year-old filly as we have,” O’Shea said.
“I’d have loved to have had her up and going a little earlier, but I’m sure she’ll acquit herself very well.”
“It’s a massive jump in grade for her, but at this early stage of their lives they seem to be able to do it.”
“She was extremely dominant when she won. She got through the heavy ground well and the horse she beat came out and won at his next start.
“They’re all endearing qualities.”
Corey Brown gets the ride on Almanzora who has drawn barrier five in the small field of seven fillies.
Almanzora has been installed the $2.90 favourite for the Percy Sykes Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of the Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Shoals at $3.50 and Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s Serena Bay at $4.20.
Shoals is undefeated from two race starts and comes to Randwick after scoring a half length win in the Group 3 $150,000TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on March 18.
Mark Zahra sticks with Shoals who has drawn barrier two while Serena Bay (barrier four) with Tim Clark in the saddle comes back to the city after scoring an easy win in a 1200m 2yo Handicap at Goulburn on March 23.