Unbeaten filly Shoals will take her first steps towards gaining a spot in the Thousand Guineas when she kicks off her 2017 Spring Carnival campaign in the Listed $120,000 Mitchelton Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Trainer Anthony Freedman has Shoals ready to produce first up and is hoping she will continue to improve as he steps her up in distance towards the 1600m of the Group 1 $500,000 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on October 14.
“She’s forward enough to win the race, but there’s still improvement to come, which’ll come in the next 4-6 weeks,” Freddman told racing.com.
“I think she’s got the ability to win a Group 1 – what distance we’re not sure yet.”
“She hasn’t been beyond 1200m.
“We’ll find that out in the next 4-6 weeks. If she can be effective at the mile, we’ll go to the Thousand Guineas.
“If not, we’ll make other arrangements.”
Shoals has been lumped with the equal top weight of 57.5kg and will jump from barrier five with Mark Zahara in the saddle again after steering the Fastnet Rock filly to two of her three race wins in the Group 3 $150,000TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington and in the Group 2 $600,000 IG Share Trading Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the 20117 Autumn Carnival.
Daniel Moor was in charge of the reins when Shoals won on debut in an 1100m Maiden at Seymour in February.
Shoals will be having her first look at Moonee Valley on Saturday but Freedman is adamant that the filly will have no trouble handling the tricky circuit.
“I am (confident). She obviously hasn’t been to Moonee Valley, but she’s a very adaptable, sensible sort of filly,” Freedman said.
“So she’s drawn nicely, so if she gets a nice run she can be right in the finish.”
Early betting for the Atlantic Jewel Stakes at Ladbroks.com.au has Shoals as the $3.60 favourite just shading the Lindsay Park trained Sanadaat at $3.90 and Darren Weir’s smart filly Limestone at $5.