After announcements this morning that the fillies that finished one-two in last Saturday’s Queensland Oaks would not be backing up in the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) this weekend, the hopes for a female finishing off the boys on Saturday now falls to Shez Sinsational.
Kiwi sensation Scarlett Lady blew her rivals away in the Oaks, but connections including trainer Graeme Rogerson have decided to send the Savabeel filly back to New Zealand to prepare for a blistering spring campaign where the 2011 Melbourne Cup will be the main aim.
Meanwhile, Lee Freedman also announced that Oaks runner-up Becerra would not be running back-to-back Saturdays after she pulled up a little scratchy from last weekend.
The horse that ran third in the Queensland Oaks, however, is set to back up and Kiwi trainer Allan Sharrock hold high hopes that Shez Sinsational can show the colts and geldings how it’s done this weekend.
A winner of four of her nine starts to date, Sharrock’s New Zealand-based Ekraar filly Shez Sinsational has reportedly come through her Oaks run well and is ready to tackle another elite level on Saturday.
Connections will have had to pay a late entry fee for Shez Sinsational to get into the Derby field after originally deciding not to nominate her for the Brisbane classic.
“I probably should have nominated her,” Sharrock said.
“I was originally only coming for a hit and run but half a million dollars is a lot of money to run for.
“It’s a big fee to pay ($27,500), but she won a bit of money on Saturday ($40,000) and I think the fillies might be a bit stronger.”
Sharrock is likely to be even more confident that Shez Sinsational will perform on Saturday in the Derby after the withdrawal of Scarlett Lady, who he considered to be the biggest danger.
“Even if Rogie’s filly (Scarlett Lady) goes to the race, it’s still worth thinking about,” Sharrock said on Tuesday.
“I think there’s probably a bit of improvement in my filly as well.”