2017 Percy Sykes Stakes Winner Shoals Still Unbeaten

Promising Fastnet Rock filly Shoals retained her undefeated status with a win for the punters in the Percy Sykes Stakes 2017 at Royal Randwick on Day 2 of The Championships.


Thousand Guineas hope Shoals held on in a tight Percy Sykes Stakes result to win the Group 2 at Royal Randwick. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained youngster came into the lucrative $600,000 Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) off two very good runs in Melbourne.

She blitzed her debut at Seymour in February by a four length margin, before a half-length win down the Flemington straight on March 18 in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders (1200m).

Shoals was the well-supported favourite in Percy Sykes Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and didn’t disappoint holding on in a devastatingly close finish to nude out Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed Formality for the win.

The first two past the post both got off on the wrong leg in a bunched jump, before settling back off the pace as race roughie Didn’t Mention It got caught deep and pressed forward to lead.

Teaspoon booted up underneath to find second ahead of Almanzora tracking through in third.

The favourite Shoals and jockey Mark Zahra meanwhile were back last in running awaiting their run.

On the straight the John O’Shea-trained Almanzora moved up strongly with the Gai Waterhouse-trained last start Goulburn winner Serena Bay coming with her.

Out to atone for an unplaced run in the Golden Slipper Stakes (14th), Lindsay Park’s Blue Diamond Stakes third placegetter Formality was quick on the scene and hit the front with a couple of hundred metres to go.

Having gotten right up there with her, Shoals was not giving up and moved up to fight it out with Formality.

The two hit the line with nothing in it, a photo result revealing Shoals on the outside got the win for the punters ahead of a gallant Formality.

The Percy Sykes Stakes trifecta was rounded out by Serena Bay.

“It was a great win,” Zahra said after the race.

“We always thought she had the ability and she’s done a great job.”

Team Freedman named the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) back home in Melbourne at Caulfield Racecourse this October as a likely spring carnival target for Shoals.

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2017 Percy Sykes Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Randwick Race 3 – 08/04/2017

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 3 SHOALS Lee & Anthony Freedman Mark Zahra 2 55kg $3.10F
2 1 FORMALITY David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Craig Williams 0.1L 1 55kg $9
3 4 SERENA BAY Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Tim Clark 1.1L 4 53kg $4.20
4 5 VILLA CARLOTTA James Cummings Kerrin McEvoy 2.7L 7 53kg $17
5 6 ALMANZORA John O’Shea Corey Brown 4.4L 5 53kg $4.20
6 2 TEASPOON Michael Freedman Blake Shinn 5.8L 3 55kg $8
7 7 DIDN’T MENTION IT Gerald Ryan Jay Ford 9L 6 53kg $71


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