Star harness racing filly Shartin is chasing history. The dual Oaks winner will take her spot in the $75,000 AQWA Constructionsat Albion Park this Saturday night.
Fresh from her dominant front-running display in last week's Queensland Oaks, trainerhas elected to tackle the boys in the blue riband classic.
Historically, the girls just don't seem to beat the boys.
New Zealand filly Oaxaca Lass (2002) is the only member of the fairer sex to win the Queensland Derby, a race first staged back in 1969.
Amazingly, Oaxaca Lass didn't win the Oaks feature prior to her Derby triumph; she played the runners-up role when second behind local filly Sparkling Melody while the vanquished also included the likes of Elect To Live and Sassy Sarah.
So, Shartin is looking at becoming the first Queensland Oaks/Derby heroine.
“I was very happy with her performance last week, while the lead time was steady it was the last mile that really pleased me and she was completely dominant at the line and Luke (McCarthy – driver) confirmed that immediately after the race.” Braun said.
Thefilly will start from gate two in the 2680m feature while race favourite The More The Better starts off the second-line.
And Braun is confident about the extra distance this week.
“I’m not concerned about the distance, I think the longer the better for her and she proved that when successful in the Tasmanian Oaks earlier this season. While she has a very high cruising speed, she can stick a bit too given she’s out of a Live Or Die mare.
“With a good draw, we should be fairly handy again and that gives Luke plenty of options. Obviously, The More The Better is the horse to beat and he looked sharp again last week but hopefully we can be right there matching it with him.
“Since returning from a break, she’s proven she can compete with the very best fillies and she’s still on the way up. I’ve trained some nice fillies and mares like Nike Franco, Pacific Playgirl and Itz Nosurprisesthere among others and I’m not certain they could do what this filly is doing right now.”
Shartin is not eligible for the Australasian Breeders Crown next month in Melbourne and therefore, the Queensland Derby start is likely to be her final race this term.
While Braun is yet to train a Queensland Derby winner, driver McCarthy is chasing his fifth success.
His winners include Slipnslide (2004), Tip Your Hat (2006), For A Reason (2010) and Bling It On (2014).
Goulburn filly My Casino Belle, a runner-up behind Shartin last week in the Queensland Oaks is also backing up but has drawn poorly.
Trained and driven by Brad Hewitt, My Casino Belle will start from gate 13, the outside of the second-line.
The Queensland Derby is listed as Race 4 on the program.