Racing: Shez Sinsational heads to Te Rapa

By Michael Guerin

Auckland Cup winner Shez Sinsational (No 5) resumes for the season in the Foxbridge Plate on Saturday. Photo / Natalie Slade
Auckland Cup winner Shez Sinsational (No 5) resumes for the season in the Foxbridge Plate on Saturday. Photo / Natalie Slade

The question everyone would love to know the answer to - what will the Te Rapa track condition be for Saturday's $70,000 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate.

Well, no one knows is the answer to what we will see for the first serious race of the new season.

Even track manager Neil Treweek is hedging his bets.

Complicating an already difficult situation is the rain that is now forecast for "sometime Saturday", which can mean a lot of different things.

This is how the experienced Treweek sums it up: "Okay, it's a slow (9) now and won't get any better because everything is saturated and there is just no drying.

"If we don't get the rain they've forecast - and we had a heavy shower just before you called - it will be a slow (9) on Saturday, if there's rain it will be a heavy (10)."

That's unusually gloomy for Saturday on a track that normally provides the district's best winter footing, but the Cambridge Jockey Club meeting held before the last meeting on Te Rapa, Taumarunui Cup Day, provided a heavy (10), the wettest and worst track Treweek says he has seen at Te Rapa for a good while.

So, it's difficult to say what we are going to learn about the spring prospects of several of the high-class runners comprising one of the best Foxbridge Plates we have seen in a decade.

Probably not a lot, certainly nothing that will be conclusive.

Shez Sinsational falls into that category. Trainer Allan Sharrock told the Herald last night that regardless of conditions he is committed to running his classy mare.

"The spring is coming around really quickly and you have to be careful. Our hands are forced.

"She did win on a heavy track on the Gold Coast, but hated it.

"At least if we have to run this is the best track to do it on. I don't want to drag the guts out of her, but I'm very happy with her - she looks enormous.

"The way the track is I'm happy it's only 1200m, not 1400m."

Fritzy Boy is trying for back-to-back Foxbridge Plates.

Last year, he comfortably beat Fleur de Lune, after having the benefit of five lead-up races.

This time the Wairarapa gelding goes into the feature fresh from a spell, with his last race being in mid-October.

He is a lean type though who generally produces something close to his best straight from a break.

Fleur de Lune and Xanadu add real strength to an interesting, full field.

Both are capable of winning, though Fleur de Lune looked a little above herself in condition before galloping between races at Te Aroha last Friday.

R7: 3.36: Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate, $70,000, WFA, 1200m.- Justanexcuse (16), Special Days (15), Fritzy Boy (9), Sandblaster (7), Back In Black (10), Sweet Suitor (3), Master Power (8) 58.5; Shez Sinsational (5), Fleur de Lune (4), Baby Guinness (6), Te Toro Lass (13), Smoulder (14), Xanadu (1), She's Invincible (2) 56.5. Emergencies: Miko (12) 58.5, Swiper The Fox (11).

- NZ Herald

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