Cranbourne trainer Allison Sheehan has got her season off to a flying start, and she’s hoping that can continue when promising mare Andrassy tackles her first black-type assignment on Saturday.
The daughter of Sharkbite is set to line up in the last race of the program at Sandown on Saturday, the Group 3 Summoned Stakes (1500 metres), from barrier eight with Matthew Allen to take the ride.
The four-year-old has finished in the top two in each of her five starts this preparation, including wins at her past two starts in benchmark 70 events at Moonee Valley and Cranbourne.
Sheehan, who also bred Andrassy, said the mare’s impressive form had led them to give her crack against tougher company.
“She’s a really honest, tough horse that seems to race well wherever she lands,” she said.
“We’ve gone through the grades, got her rating up and picked up some prizemoney, and she’s just been going so well that we figured it was about time we stepped her up and see how she goes.
“She’s pulled up super from her last start and Matthew Allen knows her really well, so we were glad we were able to give him the ride.
“It’s a decent, full-field of acceptances but she’s a mare we’ll eventually breed from and it was the right time to try and get some black-type form with her.
“Her recent form does give us some confidence going in. There’s some Group performers in there coming out of big races recently, but it was about time we gave her a shot against this sort of company while she’s full of confidence.”
Andrassy is currently rated a $26 chance with TAB fixed odds, while last start Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes winner Scarlet Billows is the $5.50 favourite.
Sheehan, who only ever has between four to six horses in work, has been enjoying a successful start to the 2015/16 season.
From her 11 starts for the seasons, with all but one of those being by Andrassy and stablemate Minute By Minute, she’s had six winners and three seconds.
“I had a quiet year last year after I retired a few older horses,” Sheehan said.
“So it’s been great to start the season off so well, I couldn’t have asked for more from them both.”
By BRIDGET COOK