Shamardashing trainer John Thompson knows he is coming up against a strong field in the Perth Cup on Tuesday but is confident he has his charge peaking at the right time for the $500,000 feature.
The six-year-old gelding has been in the Western Australian capital since November and while he is yet to taste success in three starts, the Patinack trainer has been pleased with the gradual improvement shown in each performance.
“He’s been ticking over nicely, his first couple of runs over there he didn’t handle the tight home corner,” Thompson said on Perth radio.
“The other day he was quite good but we keep drawing bad barriers. He’s getting back a fair way and hitting the line okay.
“He’s heading towards his grand final and so far all boxes are ticked.”
While Shamardashing has again received bad barrier luck after drawing 13, Thompson suggested they will push forward despite the wide starting position.
“With each run he’s got better. We’ll probably elect to go forward this time,” he said.
In a vote of confidence for the son of Shamardal, jockey Patrick Carberry has elected to stick with the east-coast stayer in what stands to be a highly-competitive race.
“He’s going well. Pat Carberry has been riding his last couple of runs and from I’m told he’s a good judge and he seems quite happy to stick with him,” Thompson said.
Shamardashing’s recent performances suggest he will benefit from the extra distance on offer in the Perth Cup, with his last win coming over 2350 metres in the Grafton Cup in July.
A full 16-horse field was announced yesterday for the New Year’s Day staying test which is headed by CB Cox Stakes quinella and stablemates Mr Moet and Chester Road.