Trainer Tony McEvoy who has stables in both Adelaide and Hawkesbury believes his flying six-year-old Shiraz can go right to the “top of the podium” this Sydney Spring Racing Carnival with a possible Group 1 target after winning Saturday’s Concorde Stakes.
Lightly-raced for his age, Zariz gelding Shiraz lined up in his 15th race at Royal Randwick on Chelmsford Stakes Day and was too good for his classy rivals when stepping up in grade for the $125,000 Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m).
Posting his 10th win, the up-and-coming galloper came off a win in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) in Melbourne at Flemington on August 8, and didn’t disappoint today posting his fourth win on the trot.
Race favourite was Joe Pride’s ultra-consistent Group 2 winner Ball Of Muscle who was previous undefeated at the track and distance, and jockey Glyn Schofield had the punters’ pick out of the gates first and up on the bridle.
Ball Of Muscle, first-up having last been seen winning the Group 2 QTC Cup (1200m) in Brisbane in late May, led from stablemate Craftiness who also boasts a top Win/Place record and will to win.
Tracking in third up behind the Pride-trained duo was then McEvoy’s eventual winner Shiraz ridden by big race specialist Hugh Bowman.
Bowman played the role of the stalker in the early stages, his mount caught three wide dropping back into fourth as they approached the corner.
At the top of the straight Ball Of Muscle was travelling well and Craftiness was starting to come off the bridle too on his outside.
Shiraz was coming though with 200m to go and Schofield went for the whip on Ball Of Muscle who still had a gap on them and looked to get away, giving the expected kick but not finishing off.
Over the final 50m Shiraz ($4.40) let down and flew to the line charging down the outside and beating home Craftiness ($4.60) in a very smart time of 57.72 seconds, Ball Of Muscle ($2.35) holding for a somewhat disappointing third.
It was an amazing training feat for McEvoy to get his horse winning four straight, and he was very excited post-win believing the horse capable of an even bigger win perhaps in something like the $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) back in Melbourne at Moonee Valley on October 2.
“The horse was superb,” McEvoy said.
“He’s something I’ve always wanted to be, lean and athletic!
“He’s a pleasure to train and doesn’t take much training, we’ve worked him out and 28 days between runs and when it really got tough in the finish he was there.
“Not many horses win four on the trot rising in class.
“It’s a testament to the horse and of course my team who continually get him to the races as good as he can be.
“He was so well protected as a young horse, I really feel the best is yet to come.
“He’ll get more mature as he gets older and could go to the top of the podium.”
Track the spring progress of Shiraz right here at Races.com.au and to back him at the best price head to Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on all the Moonee Valley and Randwick races today just before jump!
2015 Concorde Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 5 – 05/09/2015
|1||3||SHIRAZ||Tony McEvoy||Hugh Bowman||–||8||58kg||$4.40|
|2||7||CRAFTINESS||Joseph Pride||Blake Shinn||0.3L||5||56kg||$4.80|
|3||1||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||1.3L||3||59kg||$2.20F|
|4||6||AERONAUTICAL||David Payne||James McDonald||4.3L||1||57kg||$26|
|5||10||ATMOSPHERICAL||David Pfieffer||Tommy Berry||4.5L||7||55.5kg||$7|
|6||2||DECISION TIME||Clarry Conners||Christian Reith||5.4L||9||58.5kg||$41|
|7||4||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||Jason Collett||7.8L||6||58kg||$41|
|8||8||HAPPY GALAXY||Gary Moore||Ms Winona Costin (a)||8.9L||2||56kg||$71|
|9||5||UNANIMOUSLY||Matthew Dale||Brenton Avdulla||9.7L||4||57kg||$61|
|–||9||FELL SWOOP||Matthew Dale||–||–||0||–||–|