Talented three-year-old Shards has delivered Godolphin an early win at Royal Randwick this afternoon; mustering an impressive turn of foot in the final straight to take out the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) ahead of a classy field.
Jumping from the gates well, jockey James McDonald led the son of Medaglia D’Oro forward and immediately settled in prime position on the heels of early leaders Inner Circle and Voilier, who flew the barriers and set a noticeably quick tempo towards the bend.
Receiving an ideal run in transit on the rails with cover, Shards allow stable mate Inner Circle a four length lead heading onto the final straight, and while appearing to have just a little too much today, immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by McDonald; hitting the line a head in the clear of Voilier; a brave Sebring Sun boxing on for third after completely missing the start.
Trainer John O’Shea was understandably pleased with Shards’ performance for success in the 2015 Up And Coming Stakes and is confident this afternoon’s performance underlines the three-year-old as a genuine miler.
“A great McDonald ride,” O’Shea said.
“He did a couple of things wrong and was a bit fresh, but this stallion we’ve got Medaglia D’Oro we’ve got a wonderful bunch of horses by him and this is another one.
“He had lovely residual fitness but as you saw in the enclosure he still had nice improvement and he was still a little bit ring rusty having only had the one trial.
“He’ll improve dramatically and as the races get longer up to a mile I think he’ll really come into his own.”
James McDonald delivered a gem of a ride on Shards for success in the 2015 Up And Coming Stakes, but revealed he thought the horse had too much to do with only 300m to race.
“He was a bit slow to begin with but got into a nice spot and he did the rest from there,” McDonald said after dismounting.
“I thought I was a little bit in trouble 300m from home but as soon as he heard a horse come to his outside he was better.”
Shards is yet to be confirmed for a specific path through the 2015 Spring Carnival, however his performance in the Up And Coming Stakes underlines a race like the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October as a legitimate option.
Punters who backed Shards to win the Up And Coming Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au have been paid out on generous $3.60 odds for success!
2015 Up And Coming Stakes Results
|1||3||SHARDS||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||1||56kg||$3.60|
|2||2||VOILIER||Gary Nickson||Blake Shinn||0.4L||2||58kg||$8|
|3||1||SEBRING SUN||Gary Portelli||Hugh Bowman||1.7L||5||58kg||$2.40F|
|4||6||TATOOSH||Paul Perry||Danny Beasley||1.9L||3||56kg||$19|
|5||8||CANNYESCENT||Gabrielle Englebrecht||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2L||7||56kg||$10|
|6||5||LAND’S END||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||3.2L||8||56kg||$26|
|7||7||MAN OF CHOICE||Luke Price||Tommy Berry||3.4L||4||56kg||$26|
|8||4||INNER CIRCLE||John O’Shea||Tim Clark||3.5L||6||56kg||$14|