December 6, 2022

Attfield readies Perfect Shirl for Carlos Pellegrini in Argentina

Last updated: 12/7/11 4:53 PM

Attfield readies Perfect Shirl for Carlos Pellegrini in

Perfect Shirl will seek a second top-level upset in next week’s Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini in Argentina
(Jim Tyrrell/

Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Perfect Shirl, trained by
Woodbine-based Roger Attfield, will make her next start in the Group 1 Gran
Premio Carlos Pellegrini at San Isidro Racecourse, near Buenos Aires, on
December 17.

The Charles Fipke homebred surged to the lead in deep stretch to win the
Filly and Mare Turf on November 4 at Churchill Downs.

Attfield is excited at the opportunity to travel with the multiple graded
stakes winner.

“I’m quite looking forward to it, it will be another adventure,” said
Attfield over the phone from Payson Park in Florida.

Perfect Shirl, a four-year-old daughter of Perfect Soul, has been training
forwardly at Payson Park following her Breeders’ Cup victory and was initially
expected to start in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase on December 11, but, at the
behest of Fipke, the filly will make her next start in the Pellegrini instead.

“She’s doing great, otherwise we wouldn’t even think about it,” Attfield
said. “We were going to go to Hong Kong and our plans got changed, so we’re
going down to Argentina.”

Since the 27-1 upset Breeders’ Cup score, Perfect Shirl has breezed twice at
Payson Park including a smart five-furlong effort in 1:00 flat over the turf on

Attfield will try to keep the filly on as regular a training schedule as
possible en route to the 2400-meter (1 1/2 miles) one-turn turf tilt, while
maneuvering through quarantine. Perfect Shirl will be EVA-tested twice prior to
the race, with one sample to be provided prior to her departure and another upon
arrival at San Isidro.

The conditioner believes his maturing miss will settle in nicely in the
southern hemisphere as she takes on open company in an event regarded as South
America’s most important race.

“Last year, she would not have (settled in),” Attfield said. “She’s always
been a nervous type of filly, but this year she’s matured more and more and she
handled herself at the Breeders’ Cup better than she has at any time of her
life, and that was one of the busier days.”

Attfield points to Perfect Shirl’s breeding as an indicator of her improved

“She’s a Perfect Soul and they don’t start getting good until the end of
their four year-old year,” he said. “I think she’s finally grown up and realized
what it’s all about, and I don’t think she’ll have any problems.”

Perfect Shirl, who flew to California and finished third in the Grade 1 Del
Mar Oaks last year, does have some experience traveling long distance, which is
comforting for the conditioner.

“She flew last year to California and she flew very well at the time and
she’s more mature now than she was then,” Attfield said. “It’s only the
quarantine situation in Miami that’s concerning me a little bit, but I’m sure it
will be fine.”

Perfect Shirl, who was a finalist for a Sovereign Award as turf female in
2010, might find the expansive San Isidro to her liking.

“This particular racecourse has a 600-meter stretch, so it’s similar to
Woodbine,” Attfield said. “There’s usually a big field in that race and it
should be pretty exciting.”

Pablo Falero, who has won the Pellegrini on four occasions, is expected to
guide Perfect Shirl.

Should Perfect Shirl continue her impressive run of form, there’s a chance
the Fipke-bred starlet could take another flight in March to compete in the
Group 1, $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

“Dubai is a possibility,” Attfield said. “I’ll pull the shoes off her and
give her some time off as soon as she gets home (from Argentina). She’s only a
very slight filly and she needs a bit of a break. I’d intended a break after the
Breeders’ Cup, but we’ve decided to do another race this year and she’ll have
some time off over the winter.”