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Shamrocker has moved to outright favouritism to become the first horse since Research in 1989 to add the AJC Australian Oaks to her Derby win.

The Danny O’Brien-trained filly has already completed a unique double by winning the Australian Guineas against the colts and geldings.

On Sunday, TAB Sportsbet firmed her to $3.20 with VRC Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse out to $3.60 after both were at $3.50.

Shamrocker finished second to Brazilian Pulse in the Flemington Classic in November but her powerful staying performance in Saturday’s Derby has her on target for the Sydney double seven days later.

The filly is by New Zealand stallion O’Reilly who has already given O’Brien one of his greatest racing moments with Master O’Reilly’s victory in the 2007 Caulfield Cup.

“My bloodstock agent bought her for $65,000 at the Select session of the New Zealand sale,” O’Brien said.

“I had already gone home after the main sale and he rang and said he had found this O’Reilly filly so I said to buy her.”

O’Brien believes Shamrocker will be a force in the spring staying races but is keen to finish her autumn on a winning note.

“As long as she continues to do well during the week she will be there on Saturday,” he said.

Crafty Irna, winner of the Group Three Adrian Knox Stakes (2000) on Saturday, has moved into contention at $26 for the Oaks with trainer Ron Quinton keen to test her over 2400 metres.

“I would rather it was ten days until the Oaks but we’ll be there,” Quinton said.

The former jockey who won eight Sydney premierships, experienced one of his biggest thrills as a trainer when Bulla Borghese won the 2002 VRC Oaks.

As a rider Quinton won three AJC Australian Oaks including the 1973 edition on Analie who he also rode to victory in the Doncaster that year.

Trainer Gary Portelli said Rose Of Peace was likely to carry blinkers in the Oaks after her five lengths eighth in the Adrian Knox.

“She got stuck in behind them and didn’t have anywhere to go,” he said.

“But I think the blinkers will probably go on to help her concentrate.”


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