Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Trainer of Wednesday night’s impressive Auckland Cup winner Shez Sinsational Allan Sharrock has an ambitious aim to take the smart mare across the Tasman to Victoria this coming spring to target the iconic 2012 Melbourne Cup.
Ekraar four-year-old Shez Sinsational posted career win number eight at her 20th start in the always-popular NZ$500,000 Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m), a genuine staying test run over the same two-mile distance as the richest handicap race in the world, Flemington’s $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) run on the first Tuesday of November.
The 2012 Auckland Cup win qualified the Allan Sharrock-trained Shez Sinsational, who was ridden by ace young Kiwi jockey James McDonald, for the more famous Flemington counterpart and that’s exactly where her trainer plans to go for his retired father Bob.
Her success in the race was delayed by eight minutes after McDonald’s saddle broke pre-race, but the former leading apprentice kept a cool head and the dynamic duo proved too strong for their 16 rivals.
“It had to be in this of all races,” McDonald said of the drama.
“I’ve had that saddle my whole career. It was unbelievable.
“But it didn’t really worry me, I still had a job to do in front of me, It just interrupted things a little bit.
“You’ve got to deal with it and not panic.
“They weren’t going to race without us.”
It was a similarly tight finish to this year’s Auckland Cup as it was for the 2011 Melbourne Cup result during the spring, just a long-head separating the $3.20 favourite Shez Sinsational from the second-placed Spiro ($22.20)
Finishing off the winning Auckland Cup 2012 trifecta was then Trent Busuttin’s Zabeel seven-year-old Six O’Clock News ($21.20), ridden by Sydney-based hoop Nash Rawiller, a further one and a half lengths away third with the fellow Aussie-ridden Booming ($7.70) and Hugh Bowman another length away again fourth.
The victory gave McDonald his second elite level win within a week following his New Zealand Derby triumph last Saturday aboard Silent Achiever.
If Sharrock’s dreams of starting in the 24-horse Melbourne Cup 2012 field come true, Shez Sinsational would be out to repeat the feat of the mighty Jezabeel who claimed the 1998 Auckland Cup – Melbourne Cup double.
“It’s (the Melbourne Cup is) part of the thinking and I’ve even thrown in a nomination for the Singapore Cup in May,” Sharrock said.
“But we’ll get her home, let her have a breather and see where we go from there.”
The 2012 Singapore Airlines International Cup runs alongside the famous Singapore KrisFlyer International Sprint on May 20.
Shez Sinsational is no stranger to the Australian racing scene having travelled down under for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival last year where she had two Group 1 wins for two placings.
First she ran third to fellow Kiwi Scarlett Lady, the winner ridden by James McDonald, in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) before backing up to run a neck away second to Shootoff in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in June.
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