Trainers Simon Zahra and Mathew Ellerton chasing 2020 Caulfield Cup start for Shandy via Naturalism Stakes

Shandy’s connections would love two massive slices of luck to get her into the Caulfield Cup via Saturday’s Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.

Gaining a start in the Naturalism Stakes will be a tall order for Shandy as she is 30th in line for a run in the Caulfield Cup qualifier.

Only 16 runners will compete in the $160,000 race.

Shandy has done her bit with three straight wins this time in, but co-trainer Simon Zahra knows the racing gods need to intervene on her behalf.

Winning a ballot-exempt race is the only way Shandy will earn a dream start in the Caulfield Cup.

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The five-year-old is 160th in the latest ballot order for next month’s $5 million event.

“There’s a miracle every year, isn’t there?,” Zahra, who trains Shandy in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, said.

“It’s 1000/1 but we can’t have her any better, so why not have a shot with her?

“She’s going enormous so it makes sense to try to get her into the Naturalism field.”

Champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller could be a big help to Shandy’s chances of sneaking into the Naturalism Stakes.

Waller has 11 of the 31 nominations for the race with all above Shandy in the order of entry. Waller could decide to keep several of his team members in Sydney, which would push Shandy closer to a start.

But Zahra said the Naturalism Stakes wasn’t the only chance to get Shandy into the Caulfield Cup.

The Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) on October 10 offers a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner.

Zahra said Shandy would run in the Gold Nugget at Ballarat on Sunday and possibly the Cranbourne Cup if a miracle doesn’t eventuate on Wednesday morning.


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