They may have secured a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption with their 2012 Herbert Power Stakes victory on Caulfield Guineas Day today, but the Alain De Royer Dupre-trained French galloper Shahwardi may bypass next weekend’s major and go straight to the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.
Stablemate of 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain, smart Lando gelding Shahwardi bought their good European form to Australia with an effortless first-up victory in the down under debut in the $220,000 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
Last seen running a brave third over 3000m in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay in France back in August, Shahwardi showed no ill effects from their travels to Oz dropping back to the mile and a half for the Herbert Power without issue.
With 56kg and Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, Shahwardi made up for the failure of other international in the race with the $4 favouirte Gatewood who had a shocking run to finish a distant seventh in their Australian debut.
It was an impressive effort from the Herbert Power Stakes winner too with Shahwardi coming from last to steal the show.
In fact the three horses that ran the Herbert Power Stakes 2012 trifecta were all well back until the final stages with runner-up Excluded and third placed Exceptionally also leaving their runs late.
After Ironstein, who’d had a magic run, got into the clear on the straight Shahwardi came hard and fast from last in a big searching run before pulling away in a smashing win for their Australian debut.
It was a really soft win in the end too with McEvoy not having to get aggressive on the horse.
On the line Shahwardi ($15) had a full length to spare over the Robert Hickmott-trained improver Excluded ($7) who sprinted up quickly in the end but just couldn’t go with the winner, and Ekraar mare Exceptionally ($7.50) a further length and a half away third holding her good form this time in having also run a slashing second in the Naturalism Stakes.
Shahwardi had nice fresh legs at the end too, the winner a genuine stayer impressing the stable.
“It was a great run, the trainer’s prepared it beautifully,” stable rep Joe Murray said.
“It’s only been here a few weeks.”
Whether Shahwardi backs up in the $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) next Saturday over the same track and distance is still being decided by connections.
One target that is firmly on the agenda however is the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3 where they will need about a 1.5kg penalty for the Herbert Power win to get there.
“Tony (Bloom) who’s the owner he really want to aim for the Melbourne Cup,” Murray said.
“He’s hoping to do well with this one.”
McEvoy, who was impressed with the horse earlier in the week when partnering them for a track gallop at Werribee, said that if they went to the Melbourne Cup they would be a genuine chance.
“It was a good win by the horse,” he said.
“I think it’s still up in the air whether he backs up in the Caulfield Cup next week.
“(But) if he stays two miles he’s a strong chance in the Melbourne Cup I think.
“Obviously it’s a step up in class again…but he’ll be a chance.”
Check out the full 2012 Herbert Power Stakes results in the table below then head over to Australia’s premier online bookie bookmaker.com.au to check out the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup odds on Shahwardi after their Caulfield Guineas Day triumph.
2012 Herbert Power Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Guineas Day Race 8 – 13/10/2012
|1||4||SHAHWARDI (FR)||Alain de Royer Dupre||Kerrin McEvoy||–||13||56kg||$15|
|2||9||EXCLUDED (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Craig Williams||1L||9||54kg||$7|
|3||8||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Dean Yendall||2.5L||15||54kg||$7.50|
|4||3||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||2.6L||5||56kg||$12|
|5||11||SILENT SURROUND||William Smart||Timothy Bell||2.8L||1||54kg||$81|
|6||1||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Steven Arnold||4.3L||6||58kg||$15|
|7||2||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden||Corey Brown||5.3L||4||56kg||$4F|
|8||12||I’M JAKE (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||Ben Melham||7.05L||11||54kg||$51|
|9||7||REUBEN PERCIVAL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Chris Munce||7.15L||10||54.5kg||$14|
|10||6||DANCE WITH HER||David Brideoake & David Feek||Dwayne Dunn||8.9L||7||55kg||$14|
|11||5||BIANMICK||Michael Brady||Darren Gauci||9.1L||14||55.5kg||$12|
|12||15||RED EYE SPECIAL (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Michael Walker||12.1L||2||54kg||$101|
|13||10||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Glen Boss||14.35L||12||54kg||$9|
|14||13||BUDAI (GER)||David Hayes||Steven King||14.45L||3||54kg||$151|
|15||14||GUNS AT FIVE (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||22.45L||8||54kg||$31|
|16||16||AULD BURNS (GB)||David Hayes||Nicholas Hall||32.45L||16||54kg||$71|