Sharrock's star Shez Sinsational on track for stayer showdown
Shez Sinsational could be headed for a showdown with Australasia's best weight-for-age stayers in the wake of her stunning win in Saturday's Gr II $85,000 Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Taranaki trainer Allan Sharrock indicated the Gr I A$2.25 million The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 6 was on the radar for his four-time Gr I-winning mare, who has already proven herself up to Gr I company in Australia, running placings in both the Queensland Oaks and Derby of her three-year-old year.
She stamped her class in Saturday's 1600m weight-for-age fillies and mares feature, when despite having to change ground to find clear running through a wall of horses in front of her, she unleashed a devastating sprint to claim a tenacious victory.
Sharrock was confident Shez Sinsational could win the race but after watching her overcome the home straight adversity to score, he was reaching for superlatives.
"She's a phenomenal mare. She got starved for a run but that's how good she is,'' he said.
"She's still got five per cent [improvement] in her for the Zabeel Classic but it was enough for her to win this. My only concern was lack of pace and Leith [Innes riding Floria] stacked them up like I
knew he would. Opie's ride was genius.''
Bosson, who is arguably riding in career-best form at present, saved ground on Shez Sinsational as he slid forward along the fence approaching the turn.
He was able to angle off the fence on the bend but at the 300m she was wedged between runners as Bosson went for a gap that closed as he was about to take it.
He steadied Shez Sinsational, angled her back in, rebalanced her and then urged her to find the late sprint to haul in the pacemaking Floria and Diademe, which the Ekraar mare was able to do.
She hit the line a long head clear of Diademe, with Floria a nose back in third.
Lunar Eclipse mounted a monster run from last on the turn to finish fourth, remarkably giving Gr I winner Guiseppina a start on the turn and beating her home at level weights. There was a head between the pair at the finish, with Guiseppina having to settle for fifth.
Shez Sinsational's win reconciled her second placing behind Lady Kipling from last year's race and emphasised just how hard she would be to beat in the Gr I $200,000 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at
Ellerslie on Boxing Day, a race in which she claimed her first Gr I win last year.
"That's the one we targeted this year after the Kelt [Spring Classic] and I think that's our race, barring bad luck. Let's hope things go right,'' Sharrock said of the Zabeel Classic.
"She'll go home from here and we'll take a bit if fat off her. She was a bit portly today but needed to be to have leg speed for a mile.''
Even as he steadied Shez Sinsational off heels and went for an inside run, Bosson knew he was still on the best winning chance.
"I was weaving my way through across the top but there was a brick wall in front of me,'' he said.
''There was half a gap and I was wanting to get through but she wasn't too keen. Then that closed and I had to come back to the inside. To her credit once she changed ground she really lifted for me.
''I was hoping to ride her handy but she wouldn't go early but we know how good a horse she is and Allan does a great job with her and always has her ready."
Shez Sinsational has now won 12 of her 29 starts for earnings of more than $1.36 million.
Sharrock went close to a second stakes win for the weekend when King Kamada went down a long neck in yesterday's Listed $50,000 Championship Stakes Prelude (2100m) at Ellerslie to the
Bruce Wallace-trained and Sam Spratt-ridden Deane Martin.
King Kamada had a chequered run in the straight for jockey Leith Innes but showed real staying potential.
Cambridge galloper Our Kingpin was half a length away in third.