Rising star Sherrif put up a compelling argument for a trip to Australia with an emphatic performance at Awapuni today.
The High Chaparral three-year-old stepped out over ground for the first time in the Gr.3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic (2000m) and showed staying is his game with a hollow victory.
“It was only his third start after one over 1400 metres and one over a mile so it was very exciting the way he executed today,” said trainer Roger James’ racing manager, Robert Wellwood.
“Since we gelded him he’s come of age. Hopefully, the sky’s the limit for him.”
Sherrif’s effort will have connections giving serious consideration to the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) during the winter carnival in Brisbane.
“That’s an opportunity obviously, but we’ll see how he pulls up first,” said Wellwood.
Raced by breeders Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Sherrif is from the Group One-performed Danehill mare J’Adane, who is also the dam of stablemate and Gr.3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) winner Von Tunzelman.
“I think J’Adane is the stable’s favourite mare. We’ve had a bit of luck with her progeny,” said Wellwood.
Sherrif was among the last three in the running before rider Leith Innes urged him forward and a powerful closing 400 metres saw them too good for Gundown, also by High Chaparral, and Joe’s Legacy.
“Leith made the comment that the middle of the track was a bit better,” said Wellwood.
“He was a long way off them on the corner and they did a huge job to pick them all up. It’s a super result for the owners and all the staff at home.”
- NZ Racing Desk \ Pic Race Images