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‘Baby’ Genius!

Shima Classic is the baby of Saturday night’s $429,000 Group 1 TAB Australian Cup (525m) field.

In fact, with just six wins from nine starts, she’s one of the least experienced qualifiers ever for the Group 1 feature since the race’s inception back in 1958.

The 22-month-old daughter of Mepunga Blazer and Shima Song boasts royal bloodlines, being a half-sister to champion sprinter Shima Shine.

And co-trainer Tom Dailly says Shima Classic, pictured above with handler Rickii Lee Church, will only get better.

“She’s only young, but she can definitely run,” Dailly said. “She’s only had a few starts though, and she’ll keep on improving.”

WATCH: Rising star Shima Classic (5) – a younger half-sister of superstar Shima Shine – defeats dual G2 country cups winner Yozo Bale (1), clocking 29.76sec, in a G1 TAB Australian Cup heat.

Shima Classic ($7.40) won her heat in 29.76sec. After just a fair getaway from Box 5, she showed brilliant acceleration to quickly find the lead and eventually beat home race favourite Yozo Bale ($2.60) by 2.6L.

Subsequently she has drawn Box 3 in the $300,000 to-the-winner final, in between Lakeview Cruiser (2) and fastest qualifier Tommy Shelby (4).

“I reckon she’ll improve a bit off that heat run, but as is the case in any of these races, it all depends on how she comes out,” Dailly said.

“Her first section was 5.02sec last week, and she didn’t come out great. Hopefully, she can come out a bit better this week and break five seconds, which she’ll need to do to be in front.”

Dailly added the talented chaser had come through her heat well, with her youth playing a part in her resilience.

“She’s a bit like a teenager, so racing doesn’t knock her about at all!”

If Shima Classic were to win, it would give team Dailly their sixth Australian Cup in 12 years, with Dyna Patty their most recent victor in 2019.

“We seem to go well in this race. We like racing at The Meadows, and our dogs like racing there too. Hopefully, she goes well in the final.”

WATCH: Early bird punters in the running to land a windfall in the Australian Cup.

Andrea Dailly is chasing a sixth Australian Cup.

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About Liz Whelan - Currently the editor of New Zealand's weekly racing magazine, RaceForm. Formerly a panellist on the inaugural season of Thrill of the Chase, and formerly a greyhound form expert for GRNSW. Lover of all things racing, having worked as a Trackside presenter for over five years in New Zealand. Loves the thrill of greyhound ownership, having been involved in around 40 greyhounds over the years.
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