Shellscrape makes it two from two in Brisbane
An afterthought and an extra fortnight of Queensland sunshine earned frontrunning Sydney colt Shellscrape a valuable stakes victory at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Rosehill trainer Chris Waller sent Shellscrape north last month with the view of giving him one start in a $100,000 restricted event at Doomben but he promptly changed plans when the horse achieved that mission with ease.
"We planned to send him straight home after that win but I didn’t expect him to win so easily and he just blossomed afterwards," Waller said.
"Then I saw this race and decided we’d stick around for it."
Waller’s decision proved a wise one when Shellscrape added valuable black type to his credentials when he led throughout for a gutsy win in the Listed $100,000 Australia Post Stakes (1400m).
Confidently ridden by Larry Cassidy, Shellscrape ($5) found the plenty under hard riding in the straight to hold off a late bid from Melbourne colt Carrara ($2.60 fav) for a long neck win.
Gold Coast gelding Man Of Oar ($21) caught the eye when he steamed home from well back on the corner to finish 2-1/2 lengths back in third with Dual Chamber ($4.80) fourth.
Carrara’s rider Nash Rawiller gave him the run of the race behind Shellscrape and he thought he would win easily passing the 200m but the winner rallied too strongly.
"He travelled beautifully behind the leader and I thought he’d go whoosh when I pulled out at the furlong (200m) pole," Rawiller said.
"The winner found plenty but in saying that the best part of my horse’s race was the last 50 metres and I’ve got no doubt he will be a better horse when he matures next season."
Waller praised Cassidy’s winning ride and joked he might lure the former Kiwi hoop back to Sydney.
"Larry played a big part in my success when I first started in Sydney and he helped me get going when he was the premier rider there," Waller said.
"That was a great ride. Larry’s a very good rider and I might see if I can get him to come back with me."
Waller said Shellscrape was a horse with a bright future but he wouldn’t be drawn into speculation.
"I’ll give him a good break now and decide where to go with him," Waller said.
"That was a very good win but it’s important to keep things in perspective."
By Grant Stockwell