Mallyon repays faith of trainer

Trainer Danny O'Brien didn't need any convincing before deciding to book emerging apprentice Katelyn Mallyon to ride Shopaholic at Caulfield on Saturday.

"Shopaholic is only a small filly and I was keen to claim with her," O'Brien said.

"Katelyn did the impossible for us last week and won on Placement and she can claim 3kg. If you look at the replay, the best ride won the race."

In a tight finish, Shopaholic ($4.80) underlined her potential when she finished strongly to edge out Twilighting ($15) by a short-head with Empress Rock ($6.50) battling on well for third, three-quarters of a length away.

The disappointment of the race was $2.50 favourite Le Societe, who lost her unbeaten record when she finished only fourth.

Le Societe, who was resuming, was trapped three and four wide without cover and perhaps her effort can be excused.

But Shopaholic showed she has the ability to be competitive at a higher level with her determined win.

In a tactically-perfect ride, Mallyon gave Shopaholic the run of the race inside Le Societe.

"She jumped well but I had a few digging up on my inside so I was happy enough to come back early," Mallyon said.

"My filly relaxed well and I had Jake Duffy (rider of Le Societe) on my outside.

"I thought his filly was the hardest to beat so I got going when Jake did and my filly was just too tough in the end.

"Danny O'Brien has been giving me some really good opportunities and I'm so happy to win on them."

Shopaholic is raced by O'Brien's long-time client, prominent New Zealand breeder Gary Chittick of Waikato Stud.

Chittick has raced a string of top gallopers with O'Brien including former outstanding sprinter Glamour Puss and Splashing Out, the dam of Shopaholic.

"We had some good results with Splashing Out, she was a nice filly for us," O'Brien said.

"Shopaholic is her first foal and she showed promise last spring during her first preparation for the stable.

"She's come back really well but I think about 1400m is as far as she wants.

"I'd like to get her ready for a race like the Angus Armanasco Stakes."

Story by Ray Thomas, to view full Herald Sun story click here

Photo by Quinn Rooney (Getty Images)