Shopaholic can win the Stradbroke: O'Brien


Trainer Danny O'Brien is confident Victorian filly Shopaholic's reputation of upstaging big names of the turf can continue in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Shopaholic goes into the 1400-metre feature as the only horse this year to lower the colours of Group 1 VRC Oaks-winning filly Mosheen when she won the Group Three The Vanity at Flemington in February.

The underrated daughter of Pins also beat Soft Sand in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes the same month.

O'Brien was forced to find a lightweight jockey and booked international rider Jeff Lloyd to partner Shopaholic once last-start rider Dwayne Dunn knew he would be unable to make the filly's 51.5 kilos in the Stradbroke.

O'Brien has won at the elite level in Queensland with Absolut Glam in the Group 1 Tatt's Tiara (formerly Winter Stakes) at Eagle Farm in 2008.

The winner of 15 Group 1s, O'Brien has drawn a favourable comparison between Shopaholic and Absolut Glam who finished fifth in the 2009 Stradbroke Handicap won by Black Piranha.

"She's every bit as good as Absolut Glam," O'Brien said.

"Absolut Glam drew wide on a bottomless track when she ran in the Stradbroke that year and she was a little bit stiff.

"If it hadn't rained Absolut Glam would have been very hard to beat in the Stradbroke."

Shopaholic resumed from a 10-week break with a fifth to Curtana down the straight at Flemington on May 19 but O'Brien wasn't disappointed with the defeat.

Shopaholic is attempting to become the sixth three-year-old filly to win the Stradbroke since 1953 after La Montagna (2006), Private Steer (2003), Dane Ripper (1997), Canterbury Belle (1985) and Cele's Image (1964).

Shopaholic is a $26 chance in fixed betting with TAB Sportsbet behind $4.40 favourite Sea Siren who became the first filly to win the Group One Doomben 10,000 last month.

Story by AAP and appeared on Virtual Form Guide, to view full story click here

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix website click here

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