10th April, 2022



Shamus Award’s (Snitzel) ability to produce top-class middle distance performers was on show once again at Randwick yesterday when the Danny O’Brien-trained El Patroness (3 f ex Sure You Can by O’Reilly) landed the Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) and in doing so handed her Rosemont Stud-based sire with his fifth individual Group 1 winner.

El Patroness, a $26 outsider, powered home to beat Queensland filly Gypsy Goddess (Tarzino) by two and a half lengths, with leader Gin Martini (Rip Van Winkle) coming home another quarter of a length away in third.

Shamus Award is proving to be an outstanding sire of stayers with Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Incentivise, star mare Duais and 2019 Queensland Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) victor Mr Quickie among his Group 1 winners.

Speaking from Melbourne, O’Brien said he was especially thrilled to claim a major with a daughter of Shamus Award, who he trained to two Group 1 wins including the 2013 Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m).

“Shamus Award is such an exceptional stallion and when his horses get to 2400 metres you are very confident with them,” O’Brien said.

“It’s a bit like how it used to be with the Zabeels at a mile and a half, they just grow a leg. I trained Shamus Award and I bred this filly.

“She is my first Group 1 winner by Shamus Award so to that respect it is really satisfying to train Shamus Award and to train this filly. ”

O’Brien said he was always confident El Patroness would excel once she got to a genuine staying journey.

“She was favourite for the VRC Oaks in the spring, but she had a really tough run on Caulfield Cup Day and that bottomed her out,” he said.

“We had always been very confident in her once she got to 2400 metres. It was really testing conditions, but she was powering through the line.”

O’Brien said they will wait to see how the filly comes out of the race before committing to a start in June’s Queensland Oaks (Gr 1, 2200m).

El Patroness is the only winner out of three time-winning O’Reilly (Last Tycoon) mare Sure You Can, making her a half-sister to Group 2 scorer Surely Sacred (Rock ‘N’ Pop) – the dam of Group 3 scorer Betwixt (O’Reilly) and she in turn produced Group 1 winner Provocative (Zabeel).

In 2021, Sure You Can produced a colt by Puissance De Lune (Shamardal) and she has most recently been covered again by Shamus Award.


By Lydia Symonds