Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Wyong-based trainer Kim Waugh heads into Saturday’s Eye Liner Stakes 2017 at Ipswich with an air of confidence in her proven wet-tracker Shiraz who she believes can bring his a-game to the black-type sprint.
A key support act on the Ipswich Cup Day program, this year’s $175,000 Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) has drawn a capacity field including Waugh’s 59kg top weight Shiraz.
Formerly prepared by Tony McEvoy, the now seven-year-old son of Zariz has been under Waugh’s care for around a year and only now is she starting to get to the bottom of the gelding’s abilities.
Best known for her 2005 Sydney Cup success with Mahtoum, Waugh is hoping Shiraz can break his winning drought that goes back to the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick in September of 2015.
She believes the horse is a genuine 1400m galloper and will be well-suited to the 1350m on a rain-affected Ipswich track on the weekend.
In his first start since a ninth behind wonder mare Winx in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick back in mid-February, Shiraz was last seen running fifth to Royal Tudor in the Octagonal Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on June 3.
He was under two lengths beaten carrying 59.5kg that day, compared to the winner’s 52kg light-weight, and will be fitter second-up in the Eye Liner Stakes.
Shiraz has a solid second-up record so far (7-2-2-0), but the big benefit will be the Heavy-rated track as he is undefeated in the mud (2-2-0-0).
“I think he runs a strong 1400m and the other day first-up he just peaked 100m out,” Waugh told Racing Queensland.
“He’d only had the one trial beforehand so I knew he had improvement in him.
“He had a gallop on the course proper this week [at Wyong] and worked very well.
“He gets through the heavy so I’m not concerned about that and he’s drawn nice in barrier six, so fingers-crossed.”
James Orman takes over from Breton Avdulla in the saddle on Saturday.
The latest Eye Liner Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Peter & Paul Snowden’s colt Acatour ($5) who resumes racing against the older gallopers.
Shiraz is also being kept safe in Eye Liner Stakes betting at $8.50 and could then head to the Sunshine Coast next-up for $175,000 Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) on July 1.
“We gave him a little freshen-up to get ready for these races and just played it by ear,” Waugh said.
“We’ll see how he goes on Saturday, bring him home and work out whether we go back up for the Glasshouse or run him in Sydney.
“There’s plenty of nice horses in it [the Eye Liner]… when you’re running in that class of race it’s always tough.”
To check out the full Eye Liner Stakes odds for this weekend head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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