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Handicapper moves weight off Shaska.

Lightly-raced Shaska can shrug off the handicap of inexperience by making the most of an attractive mark in the pounds 90,000 Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy at Sandown today.

The John Gosden-trained four-year-old filly has only had four races but has shown enough to suggest she is capable of winning a handicap as tough as this.

And if breeding is anything to go by Shaska may go on to better things as she is closely-related to Halling, winner of the Coral-Eclipse Stakes over this course and distance in 1995 and 1996.

But it is her own racecourse performances that matter and they do point to her having a big chance off 8st 2lb.

Shaska's only win came over the 10 furlongs at the Esher track last August when she landed a five-runner maiden by a length from Curzon Street. Although she was not particularly impressive, her performance was tons better than her only previous effort.

Shaska then stepped up on that effort, failing by just a neck to give John Hills's filly Arriving 14lb in a 17-runner three-year-old handicap at Newbury.

That form has been franked this season by Arriving and by the third, Yabint El Sultan, with both winning good races.

There was plenty to admire about Shaska's reappearance too for she only went down in a blanket finish to two useful handicappers Premier Generation and Captain Scott at Nottingham last month.

And from being burdened with 9st 13lb that day, the daughter of Kris has a comparative featherweight to carry this time.

Tough mare Hunters Of Brora and in-form Shadoof must be respected but Shaska could be one step ahead of the handicapper.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 3, 1998
Words:277
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