Coronation Shallan’s campaign is a couple of weeks behind schedule but the mare could still book a shot at an interstate Group One race with a good performance in the Victoria Handicap.
Trainer Brett Scott had to shelve plans to run her in Thursday night’s Group Two Sunline Stakes (1600m) for mares’ at Moonee Valley because of a minor setback before her return to racing.
Instead the six-year-old lines up for her second start of the preparation in Saturday’s Group Three Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield.
Her performance will determine whether she heads to Sydney for the $1 million Queen Of The Turf Stakes for fillies and mares’ on April 9.
“She was supposed to run fresh-up at Caulfield a month ago and she got a little muscle strain so it put us back two weeks,” Scott said.
“Our intentions were for her to be running in the Sunline Stakes on Thursday night and that was going to be at her third run up over 1600 metres.
“Basically we’re one run behind where we wanted to be.”
Despite that, Scott is delighted with Coronation Shallan and says she has improved from her third at Flemington behind one of her Victoria Handicap rivals, Tried And Tired, when she resumed over 1400m on March 12.
“But there’s probably a few horses in Saturday’s race that are going to be a bit sharper than her, or a bit better than her, over the 1400 metres,” he said.
“If she runs another solid race like she did at Flemington we’re still looking at paying up for the Queen Of The Turf.”
Coronation Shallan has already been a terrific horse for the former jumps jockey.
The mare provided Scott with the first stakes win of his training career in the Tesio Stakes at Moonee Valley last October on the Cox Plate day program.
One start later she was seventh in the Group One Emirates Stakes won by Turn Me Loose.
“If she could find another length or two she’d be a genuine Group One horse,” Scott said.
“But she’s very honest and never runs a bad race.”