Oaks plans for Rain Shadow
Three-year-old filly Rain Shadow is the biggest horse in trainer Mark Kavanagh’s stable and could possibly have the biggest potential heading in to next year.
Kavanagh hopes to plan an Oaks campaign for the lightly raced daughter of Bianconi who is a half sister to the late dual Group One placegetter Rain Gauge.
Kavanagh said it was hard to know how big Rain Shadow would get, but already she can’t fit in to the starting stalls without a barrier extension.
"She is only young but she is the biggest horse we have got," Kavanagh said.
"She is probably 16.3 hands but very long."
Rain Shadow has raced three times and is unbeaten in two starts this campaign with wins by 4-1/2 lengths at Seymour on October 19 and by 1-3-/4 lengths at Moonee Valley on November 20.
She is among eight entries for Saturday’s Johnstaff Projects Handicap (1600m) which Kavanagh said would be her last start before a short summer spell.
"We are looking at an Oaks next year with her," Kavanagh said.
"We will ease up on her after Saturday and bring her back for one of them whether it be Sydney, Queensland or Adelaide."
Rain Shadow is raced in similar interests to Rain Gauge who won six races and was placed 14 times in 46 starts, earning $725,000 in prizemoney.
Rain Gauge covered 78 mares in five seasons at stud but part-owner Kelvin Blackmore said he died of complications from a blocked bowel three months ago.
His biggest win was the 2001 Moonee Valley Cup which he went close to winning the following year when second to Thong Classic.
He was third to Old Comrade and Northerly in the 2002 Australian Cup and third to Ethereal and Universal Prince in the 2002 The BMW.
He also finished sixth to Ethereal in the 2001 Melbourne Cup and eighth to Media Puzzle the following year.
While entries are extended for Rain Shadow’s race, as well as the 10-horse two-year-old fillies plate on Saturday, the open class Zouki Handicap (1400m) has attracted 34 nominations.
Among the entries is the Danny O’Brien-trained Perth Cup placegetter Ballack and stablemates Iamzeus and No Jurisdiction.
Ballack is also among 20 nominations for the Highpoint Handicap (1700m) which also includes the Kavanagh-trained Sound Journey.
By Robert Windmill