Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win upstaged fellow Group 1 winner Hallowed Crown to take out the fifth barrier trial over 1000 metres at Royal Randwick this morning.
Gai Waterhouse-trained Echo Gal showed her trademark gate speed to take up the running in the early stages of the barrier trial from stablemate Nayeli and Shooting To Win, while Hallowed Crown was settled behind the leaders in fourth position.
Shooting To Win was kept under a heavy hold throughout the barrier trial by jockey Blake Shinn, but he was still able to finish over the top of Echo Gal and hold-off Hallowed Crown, who was under heavy riding and given a crack of the whip.
Shooting To Win is set to return to racing in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21 and will be given the chance to record a second win at Group 1 level in the Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 7 before he potentially heads to the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at the same venue on April 4.
Hallowed Crown beat Shooting To Win in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he was unable to catch the Caulfield Guineas winner in the final stages of the barrier trial, despite being under heavy riding from the 200 metre mark.
Co-trainer James Cummings revealed last week that he was considering resuming Hallowed Crown in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 before he meets Shooting To Win again in the Royal Randwick Guineas.
Echo Gal has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) that will be held at Flemington on March 14 and she impressed Gai Waterhouse with her smart barrier trial performance.
The Stratum filly returned to racing with a second place finish in the Wyong Magic Millions Stakes (1200m) on December 18 and she was far from disgraced when third in the Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 20.
Nayeli has not been seen at the races since she finished fifth behind Bring Me The Maid in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and she showed good speed early, but appeared to lack fitness in the final stages of the barrier trial.
Shooting To Win is currently available at 2015 Doncaster Mile odds of $8 with Ladbrokes Australia, while Hallowed Crown is at $17 to take out the Group 1 event.