Unbeaten Shoals Lands The Cash At The Championships

By Mark Brassel

Interstate visitor Shoals maintained her unbeaten record and pulled off a sizeable plunge when she narrowly won today's $600,000 IG Share Trading Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) on Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick.

The filly raced near the tail of the field before unleashing a powerful burst down the centre of the track to score by the barest of margins from Formality (Craig Williams, $9) in a bob-of-the-heads finish. Serena Bay (Tim Clark, $4.20) ran an honest race finishing third half a length away.

As much as $4 was bet about Shoals before she was crunched late in the betting to start the $3.10 favourite.

Above: Shoals and Mark Zahra nail Formality (Craig Williams) to win the IG Share Trading Percy Sykes Stakes

The daughter of Fastnet Rock has come a long way in a short space of time having only won her maiden on debut at Seymour in February.

She then went to Flemington where she took out the Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders Classic before venturing to Royal Randwick for The Championships.

Winning co-trainer Lee Freedman said: On the filly: “She didn’t show us a whole lot early but this prep she’s been fantastic and to be a Group 3 and a Group 2 winner, unbeaten in three starts, she’s a filly of great promise. I don’t think she really handled the track.

“We went from a maiden to the Breeders and I said if she wins this, and only if she wins this, we’ll take her to Sydney. It’s a great thrill to win this for John, he’s been a great supporter of mine for 25 years.”

On the future: “She’s done a great job and she deserves a break and she may be a genuine 1000 Guineas filly the way she raced today.”

View the results & race replays for Royal Randwick here