Grahame Begg’s Epsom Handicap fancy Secret Admirer will continue their spring carnival crusade at Rosehill this Saturday, the in-form Dubawi mare nominated for the 2011 Shannon Stakes.
One of six black-type blockbusters on the Rosehill racecard for this Saturday, the $175,000 Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) attracted 13 entries at nomination stage yesterday including four-year-old Secret Admirer.
Secret Admirer is second favourite to win the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 1, paying $5 through Luxbet after an excellent start to the season.
First-up on August 20 she came within a quarter length of Red Tracer when second in the Listed Toy Show Quality (1300m) at Warwick Farm before her last-start second, beaten in the final stride by a mere nose by Stephen Farley’s boom galloper Sincero in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap (1400m) on September 3.
Sincero went on to win last Saturday’s Group 1 George Main Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill and now sits at the top of the Epsom Handicap 2011 odds at Luxbet paying $3.80.
2011 Epsom Handicap Odds
Meanwhile, Secret Admirer will take on a crack field in the Shannon Stakes 2011.
“The Tramway is always a great form race and after Saturday (Sincero winning the George Main), you would say the form is very good,” Begg said.
“She has come on from that run.”
Lightly-raced with just six starts to her name, Secret Admirer is yet to finish out of the top three and is also an elite level winner having won the Group 1 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) as a three-year-old last October.
On way to her Flight Stakes success last spring Begg ran Secret Admirer in the Listed Reginald Allen Handicap (1400m), another race on the Rosehill programme this Saturday, where she ran a close third to M’Lady Pedrille in.
He is hoping that 12 months later the meeting will again prove the stepping-stone to a Group 1 victory for Secret Admirer, this time in the Epsom on Randwick’s Super Saturday.
“The reason I went to the Shannon was to have her on the seven-day back-up for the Epsom,” Begg explained.
“It worked for her in the Flight Stakes last year and I think it will bring the best out of her again.”
Among the other Shannon Stakes nominations this year are four from the stables of Gai Waterhouse.
Waterhouse has entered her reigning Caulfield Cup winner Descrarado for their first-up run of the season, the improving Fast Clip who is well-liked at $14 in the Epsom Handicap markets after running a close third in the Group 2 Sebring Sprint (1300m) at Rosehill on September 10, last-start Sydney winner King Lionheart and Sydney Cup runner-up Older Than Time.
Also with multiple Shannon Stakes entries for Saturday is Sydney Premiership winning trainer Chris Waller who has nominated Spring Cups hopeful Syreon, needing to improve on their recent runs this season including their last-start seventh to Raspberries in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle, and Honours List seven-year-old Triple Honour.
The other most notable Shannon Stakes 2011 nominee is the Brett Partelle-trained Torio’s Quest.
A Magic Millions Guineas winner as a three-year-old at the start of the year, Torio’s Quest returned to form with an upset win in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) at Eagle Farm in June before resuming with an excellent first-up second, beaten a half-head by Master Of Design in the Sebring Sprint.
“I thought he was exceptional first-up because he was only 85 to 90 per cent there,” Partelle said of his 2011 Cox Plate-bound galloper.
“There’s been no indication he hasn’t improved since.”
Shannon Stakes acceptances and barriers, as well as those for all the other Rosehill races this Saturday, are due to be released on Wednesday and will be published right here at Races.com.au followed by our exclusive race and betting previews.
So stay tuned to Races.com.au for the latest updates and in the meantime, get ready for the action by opening your online betting account with Australia’s favourite bookmaker Luxbet.
2011 Shannon Stakes Nominations & Ratings
|1||DESCARADO (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||115|
|2||FAST CLIP||Gai Waterhouse||99|
|3||KING LIONHEART||Gai Waterhouse||85|
|4||LEICA LARRIKIN||Les Bridge||98|
|5||LEVI’S CHOICE||John P Thompson||77|
|6||LONE COMMAND||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||89|
|8||OLDER THAN TIME||Gai Waterhouse||104|
|9||RENEWED VITALITY||John P Thompson||76|
|10||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||105|
|12||TORIO’S QUEST||Brett Partelle||101|
|13||TRIPLE HONOUR (NZ)||Chris Waller||108|