As was the case last year, only six fillies will line up for the Silver Shadow Stakes with the early favourites for his year’s edition being Lake Geneva and Kimberley Star at $3.50 each of two.
Kimberley Star has a very similar profile to that of Japonisme who won last week’s San Domenico Stakes in that she’s rock-hard fit, stringing wins together and improving with every run. She could land in the right spot here and continue the winning streak. Hawkes Racing took Lake Geneva to Hawkesbury last week so she could shed her tag of Australia’s best Maiden, and she did it as easily as expected for a horse that was placed in the Golden Slipper earlier this year. Fireworks ($7.50) and Speak Fondly ($5.00) also return to racing after contesting the Golden Slipper where they finished thirteenth and eleventh respectively.
1. SPEAK FONDLY – K McEvoy (1)
Led and narrowly won the Magic Night Stakes before pushing forward from a wider gate in the Golden Slipper and feeling the pinch late, running eleventh (5.1 lengths). Given two trials in readiness for her return and as she did throughout her two year old season, showed plenty to like in both. Right in this.
2. FIREWORKS – B Avdulla (2)
Back-maker whose 2yo season was highlighted by a good win in the G2 Widden Stakes (1100m) where she defeated Lake Geneva. Given a quiet time of it recently in her only trial and did mix it with the leading fillies last time in. Kicking off at 1200m is in her favour and a good run here would not surprise.
3. LAKE GENEVA – T Berry (3)
Did what she had to do to win a Hawkesbury maiden a fortnight back, her first run since finishing third in the G1 Golden Slipper behind Vancouver. That was no more than a trial and she’ll derive great benefit from it. Will sit right on the speed and for mine, shapes as the one they have to beat.
4. KIMBERLEY STAR – T Clark (5)
Made it three in a row with another strong effort in Open company at Rosehill last start, defeating More Than Fabulous by three lengths. Improving rapidly with each start but meets some very smart ones here – and on a dry surface. Her last few starts have all been on soft or heavy going. Fit, a real trier, but just might find with the step up in class at least one or two too good.
5. ITALY – G Boss (6)
Closed well first up to get within half a length of winner Speed Squib at Warwick just over a fortnight ago, her first start for seventeen weeks. Second up last prep the daughter of Domesday ran fifth (3.4 lengths) in the G2 Sweet Embrace Stakes behind Always Alison where she was again finishing hard. Will see them all at the top of the straight here though and need to produce a career best to be running them down.
6. KANGARILLA JOY – C Reith (4)
Punters weren’t deterred by the wide barrier this Snowden Racing runner draw on debut at Warwick Farm, and backed her into odds-on favouritism for the Maiden (1100m). She led and was able to narrowly hold on late, nosing out Edge Way on the line. Needed to see him winning with more authority on debut before including him among the better hopes here but has been kept sake in early markets.
Lake Geneva and Kimberley Star the clear stand-outs here for mine.
They’ll get a good time of it in or near the lead, and with Lake Geneva having had a hit-out and Kimberly Star well into her prep, being too strong for the other to run down. Leaning to Lake Geneva who may have a slight class edge with Speak Fondly for third.