Trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards believe it is only a matter of time before Shillelagh makes her mark at stakes level.
The Savabeel four-year-old is fashioning a tidy record and she won for the fourth time in her six start career with an impressive display to triumph in the Ford Kuga 1200 at Ruakaka yesterday.
"We think she's a very good mare and we've had an opinion of her for a while now," Richards said. "She's a lovely mare to have in the stable."
Unplaced and subsequently treated for a mild attack of colic when resuming at New Plymouth last month, Shillelagh settled back off a hot pace and she rounded off powerfully in the run home for a stylish victory.
Super Lethal made a good fist of his return to racing with his second placing after making the running and Lewis Carroll took third money.
Shillelagh is raced by her breeders Christopher and Susanna Grace and she is a sister to the group two Brisbane Cup winner and group one Caulfield Cup placegetter Tullamore.
"She's a black type mare for sure," Richards said. "When she's right she could be anything so it's good to see her back."
The trainers' opinion of Shillelagh is also shared by rider Matt Cameron, who pulled the right rein when opting to ride her over stablemates Beacon Of Hope, Windborne and Astrid.
Another progressive galloper to shine at Ruakaka was the Tony Pike-trained Koenigsegg One, who inflicted a first defeat on Bao Shan Magic when successful in the Ford Everest 1600.
"He's a very exciting horse and Tony is doing a fantastic job with him," said Waikato Bloodstock's Bryce Tankard, who manages the three-year-old on behalf of his Hong Kong owner.
- NZ Racing Desk.