The daughter of O’Reilly made the history books and added her name to an illustrious list of fillies, only the ninth in the 150 years since the Australian Derby’s inception, to win the three-year-olds feature and come out on top of the colts and geldings.
Shamrocker broke a 22 year drought for the fillies this afternoon become the first since Research in 1989 to win the AJC Derby.
Making Shamrocker’s victory even more special is the fact she is the first filly ever to complete the Australian Guineas / Australian Derby double.
Two starts back Shamrocker scored an upset victory in the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas over the Flemington mile before running a game third behind today’s Derby favourite Jimmy Choux in the Rosehill Guineas.
Turning the tables and returning to form, today a great training performance by Danny O’Brien and a perfectly timed ride from champion hoop Glen Boss saw Shamrocker become the 150th AJC Australian Derby winner.
After finding a lovely spot upon settling, Shamrocker sat about six or seven back in the running while Kiwi galloper He’s Remarkable took up the lead to set the pace.
Having trailed nicely on the back of King Gladiator throughout, coming into the home turn Shamrocker began her run up on the outside.
On the straight it was Peter Snowden’s colt Retrieve who took over the lead and fought bravely right until the end.
Boss looked confident out wide on the straight and he should have been as Shamrocker did everything that was asked of her, knuckling down to fight it out stride for stride with Retrieve before stretching her neck out and showing a great will to win.
Pulling away in the final stages, Shamrocker won 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Retrieve with Peter Moody’s Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva showing improvement from recent runs to come in third, albeit a further 3 ¼ lengths back.
Race favourite Jimmy Choux was never a threat and finished nearly 12 lengths away sixth.
“Saw the best of her (Shamrocker) today,” O’Brien said.
Winning jockey Glen Boss was also full of praise for Shamrocker.
“When I watched Caviar (the TJ Smith Stakes) I had a tear in my eyes,” Boss said.
“That gave me an inspiration for the day.”
Shamrocker, purchased for just $65,000 at a select sale in New Zealand, has now won four of her 12 starts for over $1 million in career prize money.
Next up she will take on her own kind in the Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks (2400m) Doncaster Day next Saturday and today was the “ideal lead-up to the Oaks” according to O’Brien.
He also commented that she should be a wonderful four-year-old next season and that she loves Flemington and should have two miles in her hinting at a possible 2011 Melbourne Cup campaign in the spring.
“She’s got an absolute mortgage on the staying races next spring…she’s going to be very, very good,” Boss said.
2011 David Jones 150th AJC Australian Derby Results
|1||14||SHAMROCKER (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Glen Boss||–||8||54.5kg||$5|
|2||3||RETRIEVE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||1.3L||12||56.5kg||$8|
|3||2||ANACHEEVA||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4.6L||6||56.5kg||$21|
|4||4||PRAECIDO (NZ)||David Payne||Corey Brown||7.3L||14||56.5kg||$26|
|5||12||KING GLADIATOR||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||9L||9||56.5kg||$21|
|6||1||JIMMY CHOUX (NZ)||John Bary||Jonathan Riddell||11.9L||1||56.5kg||$2.30F|
|7||9||I THINK I DO||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||15.9L||11||56.5kg||$18|
|8||8||LIGHT BRIGADE||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||16L||2||56.5kg||$13|
|9||6||DOMESKY||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||17.8L||3||56.5kg||$51|
|10||10||SHADOWOFEXCELLENCE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||19.1L||7||56.5kg||$101|
|11||5||MASQUERADER||David Payne||Glyn Schofield||23.2L||5||56.5kg||$21|
|12||11||HIGH DENSITY||Joe Cleary||Ms Kathy O’Hara||23.3L||4||56.5kg||$201|
|13||7||HE’S REMARKABLE (NZ)||Roger James||Michael Rodd||43.6L||13||56.5kg||$19|
|14||13||DUCARIUS||Paul Perry||Christian Reith||99.9L||10||56.5kg||$201|