Shogun on trial for Bagot
LAST Shogun will get his chance at Sandown tomorrow to prove he is worthy of a start in the Listed Bagot Handicap at Caulfield on New Year’s Day.
T r a i n e r T e r r y O’Sullivan said the fouryear-old Last Tycoon gelding was on trial at 2400m but believed he had the stamina to be competitive in tomorrow’s Salamander Handicap.
A last-start winner over 2000m on his home track at Stawell, Last Shogun was beaten less than three lengths in both the Ararat Cup (2000m) on November 19 and over 2040m at Moonee Valley on December 2.
‘‘I thought his run at the Valley was all right and then he won well in a weaker race at Stawell so we’re hoping he can run the 2400m,’’ O’Sullivan said.
‘‘If he shows he can run 2400m then we will give the Bagot some thought for sure.’’
Brent Stanley will have his first ride on Last Shogun who has won six of his 23 starts and has drawn gate six.
Trainer Tom Hughes is chasing a sentimental win with Shrogginet in the Salamander which is named in honour of the former top stayer who, trained by his father Tom, won the 1978 Sandown Cup and finished second i n a photo-finish to Hyperno in the 1979 Melbourne Cup.
Shrogginet is yet to win in nine starts this campaign but has shown improvement in recent weeks.
Last Friday night he was beaten less than a length when fourth to Quilter over 3000m at Moonee Valley after finishing a close third to Special Scene and Deign To Dance over 2400m at Sandown.
Hughes said Shrogginet had trained on well and expected him to figure in the finish again.
‘‘I don’t think he has reached his peak yet,’’ Hughes said.
Sebastian Murphy, who starts a 14-meeting suspension from Christmas D a y , h a s r i d d e n Shrogginet at his last two starts and will ride him again tomorrow.
• J o c k e y A n d r e w Findlay was yesterday s u s p e n d e d f o r n i n e months after returning a positive test to a metabolite of cocaine.
The 31-year-old, who has been riding for 16 years, provided a urine sample at the Sandown C l a s s i c mee t i n g o n November 18 which on analysis contained the presence of the banned substance Benzoylecgonine.
Findlay had previously been suspended for six months for testing posit i v e t o c o c a i n e and cannabis in 1998.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and was suspended from riding in races, barrier trials and t r a c k wo r k f o r n i n e months, effective from November 29 when he was stood down from riding.