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After earlier ruling out a trip to England for a Royal Ascot run this season, trainer Anthony Freedman is now looking at a return to Adelaide with his Robert Sangster Stakes winner Shoals for The Goodwood 2018.
The Fastnet Rock filly was brilliant at Morphettville last Saturday posting a third elite level win and second over the older mares in the Group 1 $1 million Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m).
Ridden to a nearly two length win from a wide barrier 15 of 17 draw by last minute fill-in Tim Clark, the three-year-old was originally being considered for a Royal Ascot run in the UK.
That option was taken off the cards by connections at the start of the week however, part-owners Jonathan Munz and John Messara keen to keep the filly racing down under with an eye on the spring’s $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick in October.
Winner of last November’s Myer Classic over the Flemington mile along with the Surround Stakes against her own age and gender this autumn, Shoals could be given a chance at one more Group 1 win this campaign before heading to the paddock pre-spring.
Should she race on for one more event it will be back at Morphettville on May 19 in the Group 1 $1 million Darley Goodwood (1200m) giving the filly a shot at an open age and gender field of rivals.
“It wouldn’t appear to have [taken much out of her] but you never really know until you have them a few days,” Freedman told Racing Victoria speaking of Shoals’ recovery after the Robert Sangster Stakes.
“We’re looking at it [The Goodwood]. We’re not completely sure yet and we’ll just see how she goes over the next few days.
“I don’t know if she’ll be really that well weighted so I’ve got to get the race looked at and weigh up a few things.”
Lone Rock (2011) was the last filly to win The Goodwood scoring an upset at 30/1, while the Robert Sangster Stakes – The Goodwood double has been achieved in recent years by Black Caviar (2012) and Platelet (2013).
“It was an Alinghi-like performance you can say,” he said of Shoals’ weekend success.
“I’m not going to say she’s better than Alinghi but if this filly keeps going, she could be.
“I don’t think Alinghi won three Group 1s in her first 10 starts.”
Alinghi also won the previous year’s Thousand Guineas (2004) and backed-up from her Robert Sangster win at Flemington the following month to defeat Shoals’ sire Fastnet Rock by over a length down the straight in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
As for Shoals running overseas, the 2019 Royal Ascot Carnival is still on the cards for her pre-retirement next year before she is serviced by a leading sire in Europe to begin her career as a broodmare.
To back Shoals next race and to access the best autumn – winter racing odds online over the coming weeks head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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