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Shokora makes impressive step up in grade

Senior Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes admits to being pleasantly surprised Shokora has been able to make the step from maiden grade to city success at Sandown so quickly.

By winning Wednesday’s Dream Thoroughbreds Handicap (1300m) at Sandown, Shokora made the jump from victory in a Geelong maiden on the synthetic track earlier this month.

Hayes always felt there was a city win in store for the three-year-old, but didn’t think it would come until Shokora was stepped out further in distance.

“She has surprised us to go straight to the city like she did,” Hayes said.

“I thought she could win in the city but not until she got out to a mile and beyond, so that was a really good win.

“On today’s run, and if she could repeat it, we could head to the Adelaide black-type races with her during their carnival next year.”

Just as she did in her Geelong first-up win, Shokora came from well back to claim victory on Wednesday.

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Ridden by Andrew Mallyon, Shokora was sent out the $5.50 equal favourite before scoring by a half-length from Kaptive Hero ($15) with her Lindsay Park-trained stablemate Royale Effort ($10) a long neck away third.

Hayes said the stable had “fluked” riding the filly quietly when she resumed at Geelong and said he didn’t see any reason to change that pattern.

“She came from last and I thought he might have overdone it today,” Hayes said.

“I took my eyes off her straightening and was watching the stablemate.

“She really got home strongly on the fence and finished off like she will get a mile and maybe further.

“She’s continuing to improve as she hasn’t fully come through in the coat but she’s a real racehorse which is a great sign.”

To make the win even sweeter for Hayes, who trains the filly in partnership with son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, he shares in the ownership of the three-year-old with Peter Devitt and the Gordon family, longtime stable clients.

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