Underperformer unshackled in new home


Shackleton underperformed in Sydney, but the well-bred son of Fastnet Rock is relishing his new environment under the guidance of trainer Chris Gangemi after continuing his winning form at Ascot.

A $1.35 million yearling at the 2015 William Inglis sale, Shackleton failed to live up to his expensive price tag when he was unplaced in three outings for premier Sydney co trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

But in what is shaping as an astute purchase by Gangemi Racing, considerably less than his yearling price, the four-year-old gelding has hit the ground running for his new stable and remains undefeated from two Perth starts.

After underlining his potential at Ascot on December 20, Shackleton, who started a hot favourite yesterday, followed up with another encouraging performance to take out the Seacorp Handicap (1100m).

Ridden by Jarrad Noske, Shackleton box seated in third position and scored by a half-length from the fast-finishing Lucky Linda Lulu with pacesetter Miss Swindle hanging on for third place.

“He has been a good horse for us and looks like being a good buy,” Gangemi said.

“He probably wasn’t as impressive today (Saturday), it looked like he might have switched off late, but he only started ten days ago.

“We will give him three weeks between runs now and hopefully he can go on with it.

“It’s hard to say how far he can go, but he has been impressive enough in his two wins so far.

“He should get to Saturday grade for sure.”

Shackleton gave Noske a running double after the top rider guided Paddy’s Shadow to victory in the Amelia Park Beef Handicap (1400m).

The Dane Shadow filly, starting at $7.60, displayed a strong turn of foot after clearing away from her rivals over the final 150m.

The three-year-old defeated Mystery Affair by an easy 2 ¾ lengths with Thunderstrut, who had set up a commanding lead early, sticking on for third.

Paddy’s Shadow extended her unbeaten sequence to two after scoring on debut at Ascot three weeks back.

Despite the ease of Paddy’s Shadow’s second success, trainer Raquel Williams admitted it caught her by surprise.

“I thought today (Saturday) was a bit stronger and I thought we might be in a little bit of pain,” Williams said.

“But she had been working well, is fit, has had the right prep and it was fingers crossed.

“We will see how far she can go.”

Julio Santarelli