Shopaholic's bargain start at Sandown

Shopaholic made a winning start to racing in Australia after claiming yesterday’s $30,000 The Cove Hotel Handicap (1200m) at Sandown Lakeside.

Trained by Danny O’Brien and ridden by Dwayne Dunn, Shopaholic settled in an awkward position along the rails before obtaining clear galloping room shortly after straightening and tackling Miss Zoom for the lead.

Shopaholic ($4.20) look set for victory inside the final 100m before stumbling in a divot and scrapping home by a short-half head.

Miss Zoom ($8.50) finished second while Somaly Miss ($7) loomed up at the top of the straight, but died on her run to run third a further three lengths adrift.

“It looked early in the day that the fence might be off and that it’d be worthwhile getting off it and wind up out wide but its not the case,” Dunn said.

“She showed a beautiful turn of foot when I needed it at the top of the straight.

“She’s not very big but she’s got a lot of determination.”

“She is not quite there yet, she lost her marbles behind the barrier but I like her style.”

Shopaholic is by Pins out of stakes winning O’Reilly mare Splashing Out, who was also trained by O’Brien and under his tutelage was able to finish second behind Gold Edition in the Ascot Vale Stakes.

“She was a very good filly,” O’Brien said of Splashing Out before praising the quality of her first foal.

“They (Waikato Stud) have sent her over from New Zealand in great order.”

Shopaholic ran seventh in the Group 2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) in February and her only victory from four New Zealand starts came in a two-year-old fillies maiden at Matamata.

While O’Brien is unsure of what race Shopaholic will contest next, he is keen to pick up some black type over the spring carnival.

Shopaholic has now raced five times for two wins and two placings.

Story by Carl Di Iorio, to view full Virtual Form Guide story click here

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix website click here

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