Raquel Williams believes an improved barrier draw will boost the chances of Paddy’s Shadow at Ascot on Wednesday, her final hit out before the Perth Cup (2400m) on January 1.

Paddy’s Shadow drew wide at her last start in the Towton Cup (2200m) and flashed home from the back of the field in the quickest final 600m when two lengths fourth to Black Shadow.

The Dane Shadow mare will jump from barrier three in the A.T.A. Stakes (2200m) and that starting position will allow her to settle closer to the lead, as opposed to the Towton, according to Williams.

“The barriers are always a factor in those type of races and we got a bit too far back in the run,” Williams said on Tabradio.

“But it was either that or sit wide.

“I said to Shaun (O’Donnell) if you can’t get in you have to go back.

“She ran home really, really well and I was pleased with her.

“I would like to think she could lob midfield, hopefully one off.

“Maybe fifth, sixth, one off with cover.

“That would be ideal not to let them get too far in front and take advantage of the barrier.

“Unfortunately if you give those type of horses too much of a start you are pushing to try and catch them.

“From that barrier she should be able to kick out and be in a nice spot without doing too much work.

“She pulled up great and it’s all going forward at this stage.

“We are pretty happy with her.”

Paddy’s Shadow has been successful on six occasions from 50 starts and her stake earnings is close to $400,000.

Her peak performance came in March when she won the Bunbury Cup (2000m) from barrier one over Montelena.

The seven-year-old is having a second attempt of winning the Perth Cup after she ran seventh to Neufbosc in January.

“I’ve mapped it out better this year, earlier in the year was an afterthought,” Williams said.

“I prefer going 10 days to the Perth Cup which suits her.

“She only has to have one gallop in between and she seems to go better closer than if you span it out an extra four days.”

Tabtouch has rated Paddy’s Shadow an $8.50 hope. Regular rider Shaun O’Donnell retains the mount.

Julio Santarelli