Shoals is primed to take on the mares in the Myer Classic with her trainer Anthony Freedman anticipating the filly is ready to turn in the peak performance of her spring campaign.
Shoals is the only three-year-old in Saturday’s $500,000 Group One Myer Classic for fillies and mares in which she will carry 7kg less than her rivals.
Natural lightweight jockey Dean Yendall won last year’s Myer (1600m) on I Am A Star, the first filly to win the event, and Freedman said he was the logical choice to ride Shoals at 50kg.
Shoals was second to emerging star Aloisia in the Group One Thousand Guineas last start in her first try at 1600m.
On reflection Freedman believes Shoals ran the mile out, with that form since being boosted after Aloisia was dominant winning the Group Two Vase at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
“She really seems to have peaked for this race,” Freedman said.
“Her work on Tuesday was very good. The blinkers are off, winkers and everything is off, so I think she’s set up to run very well.
“It’s always been on her radar.
“We deliberately went third-up into the Guineas rather than fourth-up and we always thought that her fourth run could be in this race.
“It’s definitely not an afterthought.”
Shoals is the $4.80 favourite in the capacity field of 16 plus four emergencies.
Freedman had also hoped to have Petition in the Myer but she was balloted out.
While she has a weight advantage, Shoals still faces a task against proven mares including Group One winners Global Glamour, Foxplay, Heavens Above and Silent Sedition.
“No doubt it’s the best mares race in this country, and she’s going to have to be at her very best to win it,” Freedman said.
“I’m very confident she’ll run very well.
“She just needs a nice passage throughout. We’re not completely sure how we’re going to ride her yet, but if she can get some cover and not do too much she can then use the weight advantage later.”
Shoals wore winkers in her first five starts, for four wins, then had blinkers in the Guineas when Aloisia got up on her inside to win.
“I think she lost her way in the blinkers a little bit late,” Freedman said.
“”I think with no headgear on she’ll be far more aware of what’s around her.
“I don’t think she needs headgear and her work on Tuesday suggested she didn’t so I’m happy to go with nothing.”