Shamrocker Surprise Super Saturday Nominee on way to 2011 Australian Derby

Last weekend’s Australian Guineas winner Shamrocker is a surprise nominee for Flemington’s Super Saturday of Racing this Saturday March 12, the smart Danny O’Brien-trained filly entered for the $150,000 Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m).

The daughter of O’Reilly produced a stunning upset in the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at the Flemington track last Saturday after starting as a $31 roughie in the odds making her the longest-priced Australian Guineas winner in history.

Showing stamina and speed, Shamrocker produced a career-best run to beat home her closest rival Bullbars by an easy 1 ¾ lengths becoming just the third filly in history to win the Australian Guineas along with Triscay (1991) and Miss Finland (2007).

Connections were originally aiming Shamrocker at the Group 2 Kewney Stakes, but a change to the Melbourne Autumn Racing Festival saw the event pushed back a week and cut from 1600m to 1400m, paving the way for her run and win in the Guineas.

The Kewney Stakes is one of the nine black-type features on the Super Saturday of Racing card this weekend.

Following her possible run this weekend, Shamrocker will be nominated for both the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 9 and the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 16.

The AJC Oaks was her original target, but having raced so competitively against open company in the Guineas O’Brien is convinced the Derby could be the right choice.

O’Brien has also hinted at Shamrocker as a genuine contender for the 2011 Melbourne Cup, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicap feature set to run at Flemington on November 1.

Last preparation Shamrocker ran an eye-catching second beaten less than a length by Brazilian Pulse in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) in November.

Winner of the Crown Oaks, Brazilian Pulse is set to resume in the Kewney Stakes this Saturday.

View the full 2011 Schweppervescence Trophy Nominations by clicking on the link and stay tuned to for the final field and barrier draw released tomorrow.

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