A number of the top-fancied mares to take out...
It came down to a photo, but Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s successful day at Rosehill got even better on Saturday as four-year old Shumookh captured the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) in nail-biting fashion.
Entering at $6 odds with Ladbrokes, Shumookh led from barrier to box to win by less than a nose over race-favourite Champagne Cuddles. Out of multiple Group 1 winner Shamekha, Smumookh had won only once in six career starts, but the lightly raced mare always looked up for the challenge down the straight.
“To Shumookh’s credit, she fought hard, but those last few strides, Champagne Cuddles came at me hard and I wasn’t quite sure” jockey Tim Clark said after the race.
By the 250m mark, Shumookh looked like she might be going backwards, only to find an extra gear and kick-on to win by the narrowest of margins.
According to Clark, you only have to glance at the past to know what this youngster is capable of.
“The form behind her is unbelievable,” Clark said.
“D’Argento, Shoals, she ran against the best three-year old’s last season, and as I said, she deserved a win today.”
The next step would be a second-attempt at Group 1 level in the $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 3, a race that has seen Shumookh firm from $51 into $26 with Ladbrokes.
“That looks like the ideal target,” Clark said.
“She beat some really good mares today and some mares that have been competitive in that sort of race, I’ll be going with her.”
Clark’s ride on Saturday was nothing short of remarkable, especially in a quality field that featured Sheraco Stakes (1200m) winner Invincibella as well as Group 1 winner Daysee Doom.
“He (Tim) just gets them on the speed, he doesn’t waste a penny, he just gets them in a lovely rhythm” Waterhouse claimed after the race.
Shumookh’s last start in a Group 1 came during the Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick back in March, placing third behind Torvilli and winner Shoals.
Full odds ahead of the Myer Classic can be seen here.
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