In-Form Mare Ready For Classic Challenge

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Brett Thompson is confident Amy’s Shadow will handle the rise in class and distance when she tackles the $125,000 Country Classic at Rosehill.

The five-time premier central districts trainer believes his lightly-raced grey is ready for a crack at the longer 2000m trip and he has no concerns about the mare handling the rain-affected going this Saturday.

“We always thought she could gallop and we’ve wanted to get her over a bit more ground,” Thompson said.

“She’s been very progressive this preparation. Every time we step her out, she steps up.”

After another week of solid rain, the Rosehill track is expected to again rate well into the heavy range.

“She’s a lightly built mare who floats over the ground and she’s been on the heavy before,” Thompson said.

Amy’s Shadow goes into the Country Classic after a four-week freshen up but Thompson has kept her ticking over with a recent jump out on the Gulgong track.

“She likes four weeks between runs and she’s fit enough to run the 2000 metres,” Thompson said.

Amy’s Shadow has been a revelation for the stable having won four of her nine appearances, including recent back-to-back TAB Highway Handicap victories.

The only time the daughter of Dane Shadow missed a cheque was when a luckless midfield eighth behind subsequent Kosciuszko victor It’s Me at Randwick three runs back.

Jason Collett has since piloted the backmarker to both her Highway wins and he was eager to retain the mount for the Country Classic.

“Jason was so impressed by the effortless nature of the mare’s win he booked himself for the Classic as soon as he got off her at Randwick,” Thompson said.

The gun New Zealand jockey rode the Matthew Dunn-trained Ready For Danger to victory in last year’s edition of the race which is run at level weights and is restricted to country-trained horses.

Amy’s Shadow is bred and raced by retired Dubbo graziers Roger and Nerida Atkinson and she sports the orange and royal blue chevron silks carried by triple Group One-winning galloper Sniper’s Bullet.

“She’ll go to the paddock after tomorrow then we’ll bring her back and get her ready for the Country Championships,” Thompson said.

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