Group One glory for Savabeel’s daughter

Shillelagh (Photo credit: Darryl Sherer)

Bonny mare Shillelagh is Savabeel’s latest Group One winner after her stunning victory Flemington this afternoon.

The Chris Waller-trained mare came from the rear of the field to reign supreme in the Empire Rose Stakes.

It is 12 months to the day that she struck at the top level for the first time in the Kennedy Mile.

Shillelagh is raced by her Hunterville breeders Christopher and Susanna Grace.

“A Kiwi trainer, a Kiwi jockey and Kiwi owners,” rider James McDonald said.

He produced a gem of a ride aboard Shillelagh, who settled among the tailenders.

McDonald was able to weave his magic in the run to the line to find a gap for the mare.

“I’ll take a little bit of credit for that,” he said.

“It’s great how it worked out and she was always travelling beautifully.

“We had to get a bit of luck and she just burst through.”

Waller said he feared the worst at the top of the straight and paid tribute to McDonald’s skill.

“It was a really good win and a brave ride to get through.

“James went back and bided his time and I was closing my eyes with 300 metres to run and then the best came.

“I’m very fortunate to have such beautiful horses.

“The last week has been amazing and what a great sport we’re all involved in.”

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