Shopaholic announced herself a filly of immense ability with victory in The Vanity
Saturday’s The Vanity was expected to prove the confirmation of one of Australia’s best fillies, but instead it could have unveiled a new one.
Unheralded former Kiwi three-year-old Shopaholic issued a hit to punters, but announced herself potentially one of the best of her generation when ran down heavily-backed favourite Mosheen in the $150,000 Group 3 event.
The $14 chance’s win was unexpected by punters, who hammered Mosheen into $1.45 favouritism, but didn’t come as a complete surprise to O’Brien.
“Mosheen was obviously the testing material in the spring, her and Atlantic Jewel, but our filly is catching up to them now and she is doing a very good job,” the Flemington trainer said.
“I knew this filly was in great order. She’d had a nice win first-up and she’d come on super and you can’t stay at home because of one horse. If anything, she (Mosheen) might have been vulnerable second-up.”
That proved the case, with Shopaholic driving at Mosheen late to get up in the final stride. After jumping well from outside barrier, Mosheen lobbed in second spot behind Great Dame and edged alongside that filly rounding the turn.
Danny Nikolic looked to have a bit up his sleeve at the 400m, but within 100m it was obvious she had a fight on her hands and while she found initially, Shopaholic’s final surge got her home by a short half head. Third, just a head back, was Sydney visitor Angel Of Mercy ($21).
The win completed a winning double for form jockey Dwayne Dunn, having earlier scored aboard Black Caviar’s half-brother All Too Hard, and he said it was a fighting effort.
“She got me a little bit false at the top bend turning in because I thought I had that second horse covered a bit easier than what I did and I never got to the front till right on the wire,” Dunn said. “But to her credit she dug deep.
“Obviously she is a top class mare the second horse, but my horse just got beat in a really good race at Sandown (Twilight Glow Stakes) so we have a pretty big opinion of her.”
O’Brien said Shopaholic would most likely back up in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield next Saturday before returning to Flemington for the $400,000 Group 2 Kewney Stakes on 10 March.