Trainer Stephen Autridge has revealed that talented kiwi mare Shillelagh will be set on her first Australian campaign through the forthcoming 2016 Spring Carnival, which could include an appearance in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m).
Shillelagh has been a strong and consistent performer for Autridge through only a short racing career so far; claiming four wins and a minor through only six competitive appearances since debuting in early 2015.
Autridge told the New Zealand Racing Desk the Savabeel mare’s performance for a near-four length win in the Ford Kuga BM75 (1200m) on June 18th suggests she will not be out of place in the major fillies and mares’ races of the 2016 Spring Carnival.
“She’ll have a couple of Saturday races to start with and hopefully she will be going well enough come carnival time for the fillies and mares’ races,” Autridge said.
Autridge will saddle star colt Xtravagant in major Spring Carnival races this year, and is keen for the rising four-year-old to have a companion as he is set no his campaign.
“We’re going to send her over a week later to give the colt time to settle in before she turns up,” Autridge said.
Trialling well in the lead-up to her competitive debut, Shillelagh immediately stamped herself as one to watch when delivering a classy field a two length defeat in the Pahiatua Travel Centre Maiden (1200m) in April 2015, before immediately returning to the paddock.
Resuming in November for a similarly-impressive win in the Loaders Landscape Support BM65 (1200m), Shillelagh continued her winning run of form through the NZ Travel Brokers BM75 (1400m) before suffering her first defeat, albeit a run for second behind Nomisma in the Otakiri Reserve BM75 (1600m).
Clearly requiring a run when seventh in the Mason Appliances Haier BM85 (1200m) first-up on May 14th, Shillelagh overcame a wide position and luckless run in transit to post her most recent win.
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