STABLEMATES IN SYDNEY FOR NSW RAID
Luckless NZ Derby runner Smiling Shard has another chance to be a Derby winner this month.
The big-winning Grinfromeartoear colt left Christchurch on Friday morning (April 16) for Sydney, along with open class stablemate Bettor’s Strike.
Smiling Shard is scheduled to contest a $A15,000 New South Wales Derby Heat at Menangle on Monday, with the $A100,000 New South Wales Derby to be run at Tabcorp, Menangle, four days later on Friday, April 23. Regular driver Dexter Dunn is to drive the stablemates across the Tasman.
“All going well, thats the plan,” said trainer Cran Dalgety.
Smiling Shard will start from gate three in the mobile 2300m Derby heat. The first two placegetters in each of the four heats automatically qualify for the final, as will the fastest two 3rd placegetters.
Photo: Smiling Shard, off to Sydney for a NSW Derby Heat and Final next week.
“He seems frisky and well,” Cran said of Smiling Shard.
His main rival in the Derby Heat should be the Johnny Tapp-trained Chariot King (gate 8), with ex-Kiwi Dominus Vobiscum, now racing well for Lance Justice, to start from gate 6.
Victoria Derby winner Courage To Rule starts from gate 7 in the second Derby Heat on Monday, up against Major Bronski (gate 5).
Eton Bromac, winner of his last five on end, contests the 3rd heat against Two Eye See (gate 1), Renaissance Man (gate 8) and Henrik Zetterberg (gate 10).
The 4th heat features Master Joy (gate 2), For A Reason (gate 9) and former Southland pacer Heza Panamach (gate 10).
A late decision was made for stablemate Bettor’s Strike to contest the Group One $A100,000 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, on Friday night, April 23.
“He trained very strong today,” Cran said on Thursday, April 15.
“It has been that the Easter Cup is the trademark end of the season for the open class horses in NZ, then they go out and eat grass for two months. He’s as good as he’s been so he may as well go over there and race,” he said.
Both Smiling Shard and Bettor’s Strike have a suitable direct Sydney-Christchurch flight back on Monday, April 26.
Cran has now earmarked the $60,000 Rangiora Classic as a season finale for Bettor’s Strike at Rangiora on May 9.
“Its only a week and a half after he gets home and he’ll only be 15m behind over 2600m. Its not as if he’ll have to start half a lap behind them.”
“I understand Baileys Dream might be in town for it as well,” he said.
By Jeff Scott