The Danny O’Brien trained Shopaholic is on trial for a trip to Queensland if she can perform well at Flemington tomorrow in the Listed $100,000 The Straight Six (1200m).
Shopaholic is resuming from a short break and if she pleases O’Brien against the older horses will head to Brisbane with her main targets being the Group 1 $1m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 and the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 23.
The Pins filly proved one of the revelations of the Autumn Carnival with three successive wins against the fillies which included a victory over superstar three year old Mosheen in the Group 3 $150,000 The Vanity Stakes (1410m) at Flemington on February 18.
Shopaholic then went on to win the Group 2 $180,000 D’Urban Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 25 before finishing down the track when eleventh in the Group 2 $300,000 TAB Sportsbet Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 10.
O’Brien then sent her to the paddock for a short break with the intention of getting her ready for the winter in Queensland.
If Shopaholic performs well O’Brien will kick off her Brisbane campaign with the Group 2 $350,000 Queensland Guineas (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2 before stepping up to Group 1 level.
“I would love to run her in the Stradbroke,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien rates Shopaholic in the same class as his former top mare Absolut Glam who he took to Brisbane in 2008 where she was beaten less than a length by Mr Baritone in the Stradbroke and then went on to win the Group 1 Winter Stakes which is now known as the Tattersall’s Tiara.
“We went close with Absolut Glam a few years back and it’s certainly a race three year old fillies have a reasonable record in.” O’Brien said.
Fillies that have won the $1m sprint in recent years include Dane Ripper for Bart Cummings in 1997, Private Steer for John O’Shea in 2003 and local hero La Montagna for Barry Baldwin in 2006.
“This year we have got an unbelievable crop of three year old fillies that have been winning everything and this filly has got the right form line,” he said.
“In the Autumn she won three of her four starts and was the only filly to beat Mosheen.”
O’Brien is expecting Shopaholic to race well for Dwayne Dunn from barrier nine with only half a kilo over the minimum which gives her a good chance of beating the older horses higher up in the weights.
Shopaholic heads the market order for The Straight Six at $4 just ahead of the Mick Price trained Stratcombe who is looking for a hat trick after two recent Caulfield wins.
The Mark Kavanagh trained Liveandletdie is at $7.50 after being unplaced as favourite at Flemington last start and Peter Moody’s Curtana is at $8 after just missing the place at Caulfield when fourth to Stratcombe.