Research is the only filly to complete the AJC Australian Derby-Oaks double but her trainer Clarry Conners believes the 1989 winner will be joined in the record books by Shamrocker at Randwick on Saturday.
Shamrocker put her name beside seven other fillies as the winner of the Derby with a comprehensive performance last Saturday and Conners said she had all the attributes to emulate Research.
The dominant filly of her season with four Group One victories, Research took out the Flight Stakes and VRC Oaks in the spring and the autumn double of the Derby and the Oaks.
She also finished a close third in the weight-for-age Chipping Norton Stakes behind Flotilla and the reigning Horse of the Year, Beau Zam.
Her feats earned her the title of Australia’s champion for 1988-89 and while Shamrocker can’t win that title in a year featuring Black Caviar, So You Think and More Joyous, she is the benchmark for the three-year-olds.
“She was pretty impressive the other day and I think she’s comparable to Research,” Conners said.
“You need a good constitution to take on the colts and she seems to have that.
“Research was determined and gutsy and came to the Oaks on a similar campaign.
“It was a bit harder for her because she had to back up from the Derby on the Saturday to the Oaks on the Wednesday.”
Shamrocker’s trainer Danny O’Brien has pitted the filly against the males three times this autumn for a win in the Australian Guineas and a third in the Rosehill Guineas before her Derby win last Saturday.
Glen Boss opted to ride Absolutelyawesome in the Rosehill Guineas but was recalled when that colt was injured and failed to make it to the Derby.
Shamrocker is all the rage at $2.50 with Brazilian Pulse, who beat her in the VRC Oaks, next at $4.60 with TAB Sportsbet and that’s the way Conners also sees the race.
“The other filly who won the Oaks looks the danger,” he said.
“They’ve been there and done it over the 2400 metres, the rest haven’t.
“I think it’s between the two of them.”
While Research is the only Horse of the Year Conners has trained, he doesn’t rate her the best horse he has trained.
“She is up there but I think Mouawad was pretty special although he didn’t get to go on as long as I hoped,” he said.
“But Research was probably tougher and that’s what you need.”