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Cranbourne’s Pat Hyland knows his comeback galloper Shanghai Warrior faces a tough assignment when they take on their last start conqueror again in Saturday’s 2014 All Victorian Sprint Series Final at Flemington Racecourse.
Finals Day at Victoria’s premier racecourse features a number of black-type events including the $150,000 Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) where 13 hopefuls make up the nominations.
Among them is Hyland’s Elvstroem gelding Shanghai Warrior who is third-up for the season.
The rising six-year-old returned from an injury enforced 15 month stint on the sidelines, their trainer thrilled with how they’ve come back from a bowed tendon.
“I think he has done very well. He ran second in his first run and ran third in his next run and they haven’t been weak races,” Hyland told AAP.
Not having won a race since the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington back in August of 2012, Shanghai Warrior returned on June 14.
There they ran second to The Thief in a heat of the All Victorian Sprint series.
Next start over the same track and distance they crossed third in another leg of the series this time defeated a big margin when six and a half lengths off the winner Vain Queen with The Thief in second.
John Sadler’s flying Artie Schiller mare Vain Queen is also entered to back-up in the final on Saturday and looks the one to beat according to Hyland.
“I don’t think he [Shanghai Warrior] can beat her, the way she beat him the other day,” Hyland said.
“But anyway, you can’t chicken out. You’ve got to go ahead and have a crack at it.”
The four-year-old mare did it easy on June 28 at a light weight and if accepted will be chasing her seventh win from nine career starts and her first stakes success.
Hyland is also a little concerned Shanghai Warrior may be looking for further than the 1200m on Saturday, but believes they’re set for a big Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign a little later in the year.
“It may be OK for him, but the last run he had he showed that he was probably looking for a little further than 1200,” he said of the distance.
“I think his future is in the spring. That will be his big time when he can get to distances that will suit him.
“He’s a Group winner and he’s a pretty nice animal.”
Also in the mix for the All Victorian Sprint Final are the likes of the Peter Moody-trained Ready To Rip who was a late scratching from the Sir John Monash Stakes last weekend, four-year-old Pillar Of Creation coming off back-to-back wins and Terry & Karina O’Sullivan’s Koe who won last year’s Leilani Series Final 12 months ago.
All the Flemington Finals Day fields will be released on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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