Oaks tougher for Shamrocker than Derby: O'Brien

The perfect alley and an avalanche of support were not enough to convince Shamrocker's trainer Danny O'Brien he had a rare Derby-Oaks double in the bag.

Shamrocker was crunched into $2.60 favouritism to pull off the AJC Derby/AJC Oaks double after drawing barrier four of 17 for tomorrow's second leg.

While the Oaks would seem the softer of the two classics most years, O'Brien said the easier task might have been accomplished.

"If anything, I'd say I was more confident of winning the Derby," he said yesterday. "The Oaks looks deeper to me.

"Brazilian Pulse will be hard to beat; (Peter) Moody's got one (Do Ra Mi); Absolutely was good in Adelaide last start; Pinker Pinker's classy and Dating was unlucky in the New Zealand Oaks last start.

"I'd say we've still got a pretty serious hoop to jump through. There are heaps of them with chances."

O'Brien said the seven-day back-up from the commanding Derby win was of little concern.

"She's in great nick," he said. "I'm not too worried about it."

The barrier draw provided mixed results for the fancied runners, with Brazilian Pulse (1), Do Ra Mi (2) and Absolutely (3) drawing well but last-start winners Mirjulisa Lass (17) and Crafty Irna (15) faring poorly.

TAB Sportsbet reported an avalanche of cash for Shamrocker to join Research (1989), the only modern-era filly to land the double.

She was backed to the exclusion of all other runners, firming from $3.50 to $2.60 after a string of bets, including $10,000 at $2.90, $5000 at $2.80, $12,000 at $2.70 along with $15,000 at $1.42 the place.

The TAB reported only $1571 invested on other runners.

The track rating for the Doncaster-Oaks meeting is in the lap of the gods, with rain predicted.

The surface was rated a Dead 5. Showers are predicted for today and tomorrow.

Story by Michael Manley, to view full Herald Sun story click here

Photo supplied by Racepixvic, to view Racepixvic website click here

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