Chris Waller’s Shillelagh cuts loose on dry track to take the Godolphin Crown

Shillelagh left behind the frustrations of autumn as she proved too strong for favourite Daysee Doom in the Godolphin Crown at Hawkesbury on Saturday. The Savabeel mare finally found firm footing and a victory on Saturday and trainer Chris Waller believes she can push on into the Brisbane winter carnival.

“I know she has won twice on a wet track but she has been able to be effective like a lot of horses this time around. She actually had to jump a fallen runner first-up and then was never at home on wet tracks,” Waller said. “That gave us an idea of what she can do and I think a race like the Tatts Tiara would not be out of reach for her if she gets firm footing.”

Daysee Doom had looked the winner before Shillelagh let go with a big sprint. “She’s got some turn of foot,” Tye Angland said. “She jumped OK. I would have liked to have been a tad closer but I had to deal with the cards I was dealt and it was a matter of timing the run. She surprised me how strong she was late.

“I gave her a little quicken and she responded but the last 100 metres was first rate.”

The result gave Waller a winning double after Great Glen just held off stablemate Mortar Platoon to take the Provincial Stayers Handicap to open the stand-alone meeting. – Chris Roots