Trainer John O’Shea has a chance to win a second Stradbroke Handicap with a three-year-old filly after Pretty In Pink earned a start in the Group One race.
Pretty In Pink ($14) held on in a driving finish to beat Brave Song ($4) by a short half-head with a half neck to Winter Bride ($4.40) in the Group Two Moreton Cup (1200m) at Doomben.
The filly was last at number 41 on the order of entry for the Stradbroke Handicap but she earned an automatic place in the Stradbroke next Saturday because the Moreton Cup winner is exempt from the ballot.
Pretty In Pink was also entered for the Helen Coughlan Stakes yesterday but O’Shea elected to run in the Moreton Cup to chase a Stradbroke place.
He won the Stradbroke in 2003 with another three-year-old filly in Private Steer.
O’Shea wasn’t at Doomben but owner Segenhoe Stud’s representative Bill Mitchell said the filly was likely to go on to the Stradbroke.
“She is paid up for first acceptances and now she has earned a run she will start provided we are happy with her in the next few days.”
“Three-year-old fillies have a good record in the Stradbroke dating back to Dane Ripper so she shouldn’t be out of place.”
The other option for Pretty In Pink she is to press on to the Group One Tatt’s Tiara at Eagle Farm on June 22.
Pretty In Pink was having only her seventh start but she had shown ability in Sydney.
“The Sydney three-year-old form is very strong and it was shown again today,” Mitchell said.
Winning jockey Robbie Fradd said Pretty In Pink should have probably won by further.
“She wanted to lug in a bit in the run home and if she went straight she probably wins by a neck. It was a tidy win,” Fradd said.
James McDonald, who rode Brave Song, said it had been a terrific run because he had to come from last after a medium pace in the early stages.
Winter Bride’s third was a double blow for trainer Toby Edmonds as she looked certain to win 150m out.
The mare, who is also owned by Segenhoe, will miss the Stradbroke but could chase the Tatt’s Tiara.
Edmonds’ star sprinter Tyzone was one out of the Stradbroke Handicap field but is now two out with Pretty Of Pink’s win.