Trainer James Cummings has revealed that he could not be happier with Shamalia heading into the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Shamalia has recorded two victories from as many starts, winning the TAB IPhone App Plate (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day and the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1300m) at the Randwick Kensington track on January 8, and Cummings told Racing Ahead that the daughter of Shamardal has worked strongly ahead of the Kevin Hayes Stakes this weekend.
“She is the sort of horse that is worth getting quite excited about,” Cummings said.
“She worked really well under a stranglehold on Tuesday morning after having a nice jump-out at Flemington the Friday before it.
“We took her to Caulfield the Tuesday before so she has been in Melbourne for a while now, but she is a very happy filly and hasn’t left an oat.
“She certainly hasn’t lost any fitness even though she is creeping up to a month between runs.”
Shamalia faces a significant step-up in class this weekend in the Kevin Hayes Stakes, but Cummings is confident that the three-year-old still has plenty of untapped ability and can use her impressive acceleration to extend her undefeated streak this weekend.
“She has an excellent turn-of-foot and a very fast change of gears,” Cummings said.
“I don’t think that we have seen the best of her yet and she couldn’t be doing any more than what she is doing.
“I hate to fall victim to wrapping my horses too much, but for a small filly she has got everyone’s attention I think.”
Cummings has included Shamalia in the nominations for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1, but admits that he is still unsure what will end up being the best distance for the talented filly.
“We nominated her for the Australia Guineas and she might end up, by the end of her career, having her best performance over six furlongs, but she is by Shamardal out of a Redoute’s Choice mare so she is bred quiet classically,” Cummings said.
“If she can continue to show the sort of bottom that she has shown over a mile, I would not be too way off running her over 2000 metres and beyond.”
2013 Furious Stakes winner Bound For Earth ($3.50) is currently favourite in the 2014 Kevin Hayes Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, but there has been plenty of support for Shamalia who is available at a quote of $4.