Group One-placed sprinter Shiraz is thriving in his new environment but Kim Waugh is taking a patient approach to the stable’s classy addition.
Shiraz is set to make his debut for Waugh alongside stablemate Supreme Effort in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
While Shiraz is the highest rated runner in the race, the now seven-year-old didn’t make an impression at stakes level until about 15 months ago.
He won two early spring Group Three races and returned in autumn to finish second behind Griante in the Group One Galaxy at Rosehill.
But Shiraz struggled with anti-clockwise racing at Caulfield and Moonee Valley and when Tony McEvoy closed his Hawkesbury stable he recommended sending the horse to the Wyong-based Waugh.
She said Shiraz’s former trainer’s advice had rung true so far.
“You’ll still learn a bit I think in the first couple of runs with how he pulls up and how he backs up,” Waugh said.
Shiraz will have to overcome 59kg and the widest barrier to record his fifth first-up win from eight attempts, but two barrier trials have convinced Waugh the horse is travelling well.
While he was placed at the top level less than nine months ago, Waugh is focused on giving Shiraz a couple of runs before locking in a target.
Supreme Effort is a more familiar presence at the stable and Waugh is happy the horse will carry 54kg from barrier three.
“He should get a lovely run from there,” she said.
Supreme Effort was tried in betting in a benchmark handicap last start at Rosehill on November 19 but finished fourth carrying 60kg.
“He’s stepping up in class a bit but still to get that lighter weight, he hasn’t had that for a while,” Waugh said.
Supreme Effort acquitted himself well at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day under Tommy Berry, finishing third in a Listed straight race over 1200m.
“Down the straight first time he was a little bit lost,” Waugh said.
“Tommy’s back on him Saturday which is great.”
Shiraz shares the second line of betting with Kuro and Bachman at $8 behind $2.80 favourite Nieta.
Supreme Effort is at $9.50 along with Mr Manhattan.
Waugh is excited about her other runner at Rosehill, Hetty Heights who is in the Treeserve Handicap (1200m)
“She’s filled out a bit more and she’s got a bit of class about her,” Waugh said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au