Royally bred filly Shoals (3f Fastnet Rock x The Broken Shore, by Hussonet) kept her unbeaten record intact when resuming from a spell to win the Listed MVRC Atlantic Jewel Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The Anthony Freedman trained filly dodged the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper last season, but still came away with three stylish wins at her only starts culminating with a narrow victory over another top class Fastnet Rock filly Formality in the Group II ATC Percy Sykes Stakes at Randwick.
She stalked the leader Blondie and then overpowered her in the run to the line to win the 1200 metre sprint by three-quarters of a length.
Winning rider Mark Zahra has now been aboard the filly in three of her four wins, so has a good insight into the blue-blood.
“I wouldn’t say she’s doing it half hearted but every time she gets to the front, she just pricks her ears and she doesn’t put them away,” Zahra said.
“She’s doing it pretty easy but I reckon if something challenged her she would’ve found a lot more today.
“If you see her coat, you’ll know she’s got a bit to go because she’s a bit burly as well, but we were able to get a soft enough run on the speed and coming to the bend I didn’t think there was any way we’d get beaten.”
Group I goals will be on the agenda for Shoals, but whether that involves a step up in distance to the 1600 metres of the MRC Thousand Guineas or back to 1200 metres for the VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes remains to be seen.
Her next appearance will likely come in the Group II MRC Thousand Guineas Prelude over 1400 metres, which should shed some light on what will ultimately be her preferred journey.
Shoals was retained to race by her breeders Arrowfield Stud and Jonathan Munz and is the first foal of The Broken Shore, who was bought by Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock for $1.9 million at the Magic Millions Teeley Assets Dispersal in 2014.
A metropolitan winner by Hussonet, The Broken Shore is a half-sister to Group I winners Redoute’s Choice, Manhattan Rain and Platinum Scissors as well as Group III winner Sliding Cube and stakes-winner Echoes of Heaven.