Shad­ows Cast puts stakes’ ri­vals in the shade


IT was a day for the lo­cals at Awa­puni when classy sprint­er­miler Shad­ows Cast upset pre­dic­tions in the $100,000 Manawatu Chal­lenge Stakes (1400m) yes­ter­day.

Just 30 min­utes ear­lier Awa­puni gal­loper Rock On had scored at out­side odds in the Manawatu Cup.

Shad­ows Cast ($16) added to the lo­cal cel­e­bra­tions as he bounced back to his best form to race clear in the home straight, cap­tur­ing a sec­ond vic­tory at stakes level fol­low­ing his dead­heat for first in the 2017 Cou­p­land’s Bak­eries Mile (1600m) at Ric­car­ton.

The win was also tes­ta­ment to the skills of trainer Mark Ou­laghan, who pro­duced the horse in a fresh state af­ter re­turn­ing from a dis­ap­point­ing south­ern cam­paign, that saw him fin­ish last in this year’s edi­tion of the Cou­p­land’s Bak­eries Mile, just over amonth ago. Rider Johnathan Parkes was full of praise for the ef­fort of his charge, who has now won nine of his 32 ca­reer starts.

‘‘They trav­elled him down there [Ric­car­ton] and he pulled up a bit crook, but he’s bounced back great,’’ he said.

‘‘From a gun draw I was able to get him in a gun po­si­tion. Com­ing into the straight I was able to get off the fence and he’s sim­ply been too strong.

‘‘I think amile is re­ally his go as he’s al­ways been there­abouts in bet­ter com­pany, and it has shown to­day as he has beaten a cou­ple of handy horses.

‘‘I don’t see why not to have a crack at a Thorn­don [Mile] or some­thing like that.’’ Ou­laghan was his usual un­der-stated self as he dis­cussed the per­for­mance, pre­fer­ring to look ahead to the next chal­lenge for the Per In­canto geld­ing in the com­ing weeks.

‘‘He had a bit of a set-back [at Ric­car­ton] but he got over it okay,’’ Ou­laghan said. ‘‘1400m is his pet dis­tance, although at a pinch he can get out to amile, but I do think 1400m is his go.

‘‘In say­ing that we might have a look at the Thorn­donMile with him next.’’ The Thorn­don Mile (1600m) is one of the fea­ture events at Tren­tham on Jan­uary 19.

There was sen­sa­tion be­fore the race when pre-post favourite Ocean Em­peror was deemed a late scratch­ing af­ter un­der­go­ing a ve­teri­nary in­spec­tion.

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