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NZ Briefs for 06th September 2018

Theo Marks first-up for Shillelagh; Group debutant favourite for Dato;
Theo Marks first-up for Shillelagh
Group One Winner Shillelagh will begin her spring campaign at Rosehill on Saturday when she lines-up in the Gr.2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m).
The seven-year-old mare was runner-up in the Gr.1 Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1350m) in her last-start run at Doomben in June and her trainer Chris Waller is hoping to step her up in distance this spring.
“She had a Group One placing up in Queensland,” he said. “She’s spelled well and has come back in really good shape. We are getting really good comments consistently from her riders.
“Just be careful of the track, obviously she is better on a good track than a soft track, but she’s in for a good preparation.
“I would love to stretch her out to beyond a mile this time, for the first time. I would love to get her up to 1 1⁄4 m, being a daughter of Savabeel.”
Group debutant favourite for Dato
Redwood gelding Night’s Watch will step up to Group company for the first time on Saturday in the Gr.2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley and bookmakers have labelled him as an early favourite for the race.
The Darren Weir-trained runner has been set as a $3.50 favourite with TAB bookmakers after his eye-catching win in the Jockey Celebration Day Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
If victorious in the Dato, Night’s Watch would secure a ballot exemption for several spring features, including the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Weir’s main target this spring for the five-year-old.
Night’s Watch will have to overcome a quality field, which includes dual New Zealand Horse of the Year Bonneval who won last year’s running of the race.


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