Thunder Lady will head to the 2014 Crown Oaks at Flemington next Thursday after she recorded a tough staying win in the 2014 Wakeful Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Thunder Lady was making her Melbourne racing debut after performing well without winning in four race starts in New South Wales this preparation and she clearly relished the step-up to 2000 metres and the long Flemington straight.
Godolphin filly Abduction hit the front at the 200 metre mark and looked as though she was going to race away from the rest of the field, but Thunder Lady was too strong in the final stages and finished over the top of her rival to record a maiden race win in the Wakeful Stakes.
Shinn started Victoria Derby Day with a strong win on Kermadec in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1400m) before making it two wins from as many races and the in-form hoop was quick to pay credit to the training performance of John Sargent.
“It is amazing, two winners in the first two races on Derby Day,” Shinn said.
“Full credit to John Sargent; he really has a knack of training these gross type of fillies and he came down here last year with this type of filly.
“He has aimed her towards the Oaks, this was the right race for her and she is going to be a live chance in the Oaks.
“She just appreciated being ridden that little bit quieter today and she was able to get into a nice rhythm.
“When I exposed her at the 300 she really had a good turn-of-foot, which surprised me a little bit, but on a big track she was able to balance up and showed her true class today.”
Sargent won the 2013 edition of the Wakeful Stakes with Kirramosa before she went on to win the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2400m) and the Sydney-based trainer is hoping that Thunder Lady can replicate the feat of her stablemate next Tuesday.
The New Zealander said that he had put plenty of work into Thunder Lady, but he was always confident that she would develop into a top staying filly and was delighted his gamble to bring her to Melbourne had paid off.
“She was always been a well in progress this filly and I gambled bringing a maiden down,” Sargent said.
“At least Kirramosa last year had won a race, but she showed us all along that we could settle her and she would get the trip.
“It was a lovely ride today from Blake.
“I have always trained her to get over a trip and get here today at peak condition.
“She is more of a stayer and the pace was on so it suited her.
“Bring on Thursday.”
Shinn is unavailable to ride Thunder Lady in the Crown Oaks due to suspension and Tommy Berry has been booked to ride the promising filly in the Group 1 event.