Quality mare Shillelagh will be out to bounce back in the Group One Futurity Stakes after never threatening in her return from a spell in the C F Orr Stakes.
The Chris Waller-trained mare won the Group One Kennedy Mile at Flemington at the end of her spring campaign and Sydney’s premier trainer admitted the six-year-old performed below expectations in the Orr Stakes last Saturday week.
Shillelagh started a $10 chance in the Orr but after getting back in the field over the 1400m she could only manage to run home into 10th in a race where less than 3-1/2-lengths covered the 13-horse field at the finish.
“She was a little bit disappointing first-up but all things considered she only got beaten two lengths so the run probably wasn’t as bad as we all think,” Waller said in his weekly online stable update.
Shillelagh has the outside gate in Saturday’s field of 11 for the 1400m weight-for-age Group One Futurity and was at $12 on Thursday.
“Her work since her first-up run has been good so we’re hoping she can improve,” Waller said.
Premier Victorian trainer Darren Weir has a strong hand with three of the top four in betting, headed by Orr Stakes third placegetter Brave Smash at $3.30.
The Hawkes Racing team have Group Two winner Showtime aiming to become the first three-year-old to win the weight-for-age race since star colt All Too Hard in 2013.
All Too Hard was also trained by the Hawkes team, while senior trainer John Hawkes has also won the Futurity with another three-year-old, Yell, in 2003.
Showtime was at $8.50 on Thursday while the Mick Price-trained Group One-winning three-year-old colt Mighty Boss was at $6 on the third line of betting.