Cunningham accepts Shinji into Lancaster Stakes at Doomben
SHINJI will race in the $100,000 Gallopers Sports Club Lancaster Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
The set-weight journey for two-year-old fillies is race three on a packed Doomben Cup day.
Grafton trainer Paddy Cunningham chose the race for his young prodigy ahead of the more lucrative $140,000 Woodlands Stakes (1100m) at Scone, after double-booking nominations earlier this week.
Unbeaten at three starts, Shinji attracted topweight of 58.5 kg at Scone, prompting Cunningham to reconsider his original plans.
Cunningham revealed his decision while at the Sunshine Coast yesterday, where he had three runners, including Za Night ($7.00) which finished second to Sequalicious ($8.00) in a Class 3 Plate (850m).
"We're going to go to Brisbane," Cunningham told the Daily Examiner.
"She was given a bit of weight at Scone and she's not a real big horse. So we thought we might go up to Brisbane with her where they've all got to cart the same weight."
Shinji drew barrier two at Scone but will jump from 10 at Doomben.
Boom apprentice hoop Tegan Harrison, who was onboard Shinji for her previous two wins at Eagle Farm, is booked for the ride.
"She drew wide the other day, I don't think the draw will be too bad," Cunningham said.
"She's got plenty of speed out of the gates so hopefully she can get out quick and get in with the leaders."
The late call has caused some concern for Shinji's owners, a syndicate that is 20-strong.
Westlawn Business Services director Justin Inskip and his colleagues, who share in Shinji's investment, were forced to make last-minute changes.
Originally groomed for the Woodlands Stakes as part of the Emirates Park Scone Cup Carnival, the majority of Shinji's connections had made bookings well in advance, aware the town's population is set to swell for Australia's richest country carnival.
"We jumped on the front foot and had booked accommodation in Scone to make sure we got a bed," Inskip said.
"But we've cancelled all of that. About 10 of us will head to Brisbane and we might try to make a weekend of it."
A heads-up for Justin and his crew: Suncorp Stadium will be the place to be with Brisbane Broncos taking on Gold Coast Titans in NRL tomorrow night and Queensland Reds versus Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby on Saturday night.
ON TRACK: Undefeated two-year-old Shinji in trackwork at Clarence River Jockey Club ahead of this the Lancaster Stakes at Doomben this Saturday.