Stakeswinning two-year-old Shellscrape has carried his form into his three-year-old season to cap a big day for the Chris Waller stable at Randwick with victory in the San Domenico Stakes.
The Group Three sprint was the first of the black-type features for the Sydney spring and Shellscrape ($7.50) carried topweight of 56kg courtesy of his win in the Australia Post Stakes during the Brisbane winter carnival.
After that Listed win on June 20, Shellscrape had a short break in the warmer climate with Saturday’s 1000m race in mind.
His win was the third of the day for Waller after Voice Coach and Altered Boy.
“We picked this race out and set him for it and we are very proud to win it,” Waller said.
“He did a great job as a two-year-old and he looked so good after he won in Brisbane that we just gave him a short break up there.
“The owners let me keep him in work so he spent a week in his box and then was back into it again.”
After Hugh Bowman tucked him in behind the leaders, Shellscrape burst through the pack in the straight to hold off Queenslander Sniplaz ($26) by a length.
Another Queenslander, Kiss Me Katy, started the $4.40 favourite and held it together to run third another 2-1/2 lengths away.
Winter King ($4.80) got pushed back and finished ninth with trainer David Payne critical of the Randwick surface which was officially rated a dead (5).
“You can’t blame the horse,” he told stewards.
“It’s the surface, it’s a joke.”
Winter King was trapped on the inside which many believed to be the better going while others were coming wide.
“It was a nightmare run,” jockey Glyn Schofield said.
“We were never going to get around them or inside them.”
Waller said Shellscrape would contest the Up And Coming Stakes (1200m) in two weeks with the Group One 2009 Golden Rose (1400m) a week later an option.
“He’s not nominated but if he happened to win the Up And Coming then we would have to think about paying the late fee,” he said.
“I’ll talk it over with the owners.”
Shellscrape, who is by Dane Shadow, is owned by Geoff and Margaret Grimish who also bred him.
Brisbane trainer Steven O’Dea was happy with Kiss Me Katy’s performance and said it proved she would be competitive in Sydney.
“She showed us today she’ll be better over 1200 to 1400 metres,” he said.
“And the good thing is it shows she’s not one-dimensional.”
Kiss Me Katy has led in most of her previous starts but settled midfield on Saturday before making ground in the second half of the race.
Shellscrape was ridden by reigning premier Bowman while Waller’s other wins came courtesy of Corey Brown rides.
Article by Caryl Williamson Aapracing
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