Shumookh takes first step to matching Mum Shamekha

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Shumookh has made a winning debut at Canterbury.

Shumookh has taken the first tentative step towards emulating her three-time Group 1 winning dam Shamekha with an impressive debut at Canterbury.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained filly was clinical on Wednesday, leading all the way in the Pluck@Vinery Plate (1250m).

Finally making it to the races after seven barrier trials starting in September, 2016, Shumookh ($3.40) was a cut above as apprentice Rachel King drove her to the line 2-1/4 lengths clear of Stratum Charge ($12).

The Man ($6) was a short half head back in third.

Waterhouse trained Shamekha throughout her 24-race career highlighted by the Group One Coolmore Classic in 2004 and the TJ Smith Stakes, All Aged Stakes a year later.

“If she turns out half as good as we’ll be over the moon. So far so good,” stable representative Neil Paine said.

He said the strategy of using blinkers on a newcomer for their first race day experience again paid off as Shumookh was focused throughout.

“We use it as a tool, especially first-up and it’s worked. She was a real professional, she jumped, led, and kicked away,” Paine said.

King had ridden the filly in her past two trials and agreed the gear was influential.

“She trialled very well without them but I just felt when she got to the front in the trials she just had a little bit of a look,” she said.

“The blinkers really kept her focused the whole way. It proved the winning move.”

King thought Shumookh would step up to Saturday grade comfortably.

“Hopefully onwards and upwards from there,” she said.

“She’s just a relentless galloper. She’s a typical Gai and Adrian horse. I knew she’d be strong.”

Kool Vinnie, Feelin The Love and Cordoned gave Newcastle trainer Kris Lees a winning treble while Brenton Avdulla notched a riding double on the latter two.

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