Waller keen on Shillelagh in Mackinnon

Shillelagh - Bruno Cannatelli

Bruno Cannatelli

Sydney-based trainer Chris Waller is looking for more Group One spoils at Flemington with Savabeel mare Shillelagh after she took out the Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) last Saturday.

She will back up this Saturday to contest the Gr.1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) where she will jump from barrier six under in-form hoop James McDonald.

“She backs up from last Saturday where she was an impressive winner and that was against the girls at weight-for-age,” Waller said.

“This race is for both sexes and James McDonald retains the ride. Barrier six shouldn’t pose any problem to her and hopefully she gets an economical run.”

Waller said the seven-year-old mare should appreciate the step-up in distance in the A$2 million feature and he is bullish about her chances of adding a third Group One victory to her tally on Saturday.

“She shouldn’t have to get as far back as she does over shorter distances and that might make things a little easier for her,” he said.

“Clearly she loves Flemington, this is her first time over 2000m but the family that she is from would suggest that it won’t be any issue and being well into her preparation it is the right time to be trying her.

“I am quietly confident that she will be hard to beat.”


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