Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday December 24

Shaquero and Astrologer's defection from Randwick to Eagle Farm on Saturday has shortened the odds of a first season stallion coming out on top in the Group III Magic Millions BJ McLachlan Stakes.

Shaquero, by Shalaa (IRE), and Astrologer by Star Turn, have met once before in the Group III ATC Breeders' Plate at Randwick back in October.

Shaquero Makes a winning debut in the Breeders' Plate (Steve Hart)

Shaquero looked the consummate professional that day leading all the way. Astrologer came out last and did not have the clearest running in the straight when finishing just over two and a half lengths from the winner in third.

The Chris Waller-trained Shaquero has been unraced since while Astrologer prepped for his trip to Brisbane with a fifth behind the very promising She's All Class (I Am Invincible) in the Wyong Magic Millions on December 16.

The Peter and Paul Snowden trained son of Star Turn was run off his legs in the early stages of that 1100m scamper and should be suited by the extra 100 metres of Saturday's race.

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Shaquero prepped for the race with a barrier trial at Canterbury on December 15. He could have hardly been any more impressive.

Though the time was nothing to write home about, he was never out of second gear to win by a length and three-quarters over the Capitalist colt Colour De Roy who makes his career debut in the opener at Randwick on Saturday.

Shaquero got his sire Shalaa (IRE) off to Australia's best possible start with his all-the-way win in the Breeders' Plate.

Carrying the familiar white with royal blue hooped sleeves of Neville Morgan, Shaquero was a $160,000 purchase by Mulcaster Bloodstock out of the Fernrigg Farm draft at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

He is a fourth-generation bred by Bob Hannon, being the second winner from three to race out of the Not A Single Doubt mare Fimatino who has a filly from Hellbent's first crop in the Tyreel Stud draft heading to the Gold Coast in January.

Fimatino is a half-sister to the Listed Singapore TC Stewards' Cup winner Ghozi (Catbird) and to the dam of the WS Cox Plate winner Shamus Award (Snitzel), out of the Luskin Star mare Finto Fling.

A 2-time winner in Sydney Finto Fling is a daughter of the imported Tap On Wood mare From The Wood (IRE).

The great-granddam of Proven Thoroughbreds speedy Hinchinbrook filly Brook Magic, From The Wood won the Group III Concorde Stakes at Phoenix Park and was highly enough regarded by the Kevin Prendergast stable to run in three Group 1s, the Irish One Thousand Guineas, Moyglare Stud Stakes and Phoenix Stakes.

Shaquero a $160,000 Gold Coast Yearling

She was never a factor in any of those before continuing her track career in Australia.

In six starts in her adopted homeland From The Wood added a win at Randwick over 1400 metres.

From The Wood descends from a family that spent the best part of a century in Germany and Hungry's insular thoroughbred worlds.

Also flying the flag for the first season sires in the McLachlan Stakes is the last start Doomben winner Subterranean a son of Rebel Dane.

The best fancied of the locals is the Trent and Toby Edmonds-trained Alpine Edge. The son of Better Than Ready led all the way to claim the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes at Eagle Farm on December 12.

The most expensive yearling in the race is Ghostwriter who makes his third career start for Annabel Neasham. Aquis Farm shelled out $975,000 for the son of I Am Invincible out of the Rosemont Stud draft at the Gold Coast in January. He won on debut at Doomben in October and was an even fifth in the $1million Golden Gift at Rosehill won by Sneaky Five.

The lone filly in the race is the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Lovin' Feelin'. The daughter of Exceed And Excel was a $320,000 Magic Millions purchase out of the Twin Hills draft.

Twin Hills has a half-sister by Smart Missile heading to the Gold Coast in January.

Shalaa (IRE) has 30 catalogued for the Gold Coast Yearling Sale begining on January 12. 

Shalaa (IRE)

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