Shiraz has continued to press his claims as one to the country’s most in-form sprinters; producing a particularly impressive turn of foot in the final straight at Randwick to post a fourth-consecutive race win in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m).
Shiraz jumped from the gates well, but was forced to sit three wide over the back straight, off the pace of early leader and clear race favourite Ball Of Muscle having been charged with leaving from barrier 8.
Rounding onto the final straight wide and with plenty to do, Sydney Premiership-winning hoop Hugh Bowman allowed the Zariz gelding to balance up before exploding forward; immediately responding when asked for an extra effort to easily catch Ball Of Muscle and hit the line half a length ahead of a similarly fast-finishing Craftiness.
Tony McEvoy has been understandably thrilled with the results posted by Shiraz this time in, and believes the key to success with the six-year-old this afternoon was the four weeks left between his win in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) and the Concorde Stakes.
“He just presented magnificently today and the horse was suburb,” McEvoy said.
“He’s something I’ve always wanted to be – lean and athletic, but he’s a pleasure to train and he doesn’t take much.
“28 days between runs and when it really got tough in the finish he was there, which he was at Flemington.
“He’s got a great culture and not many horses win four on the trot, rising in class.
“It’s a testament to the horse and my team, who continually get him to the races as good as he can be.”
Bowman delivered a typically brilliant performance aboard Shiraz for success in the 2015 Concorde Stakes but was quick to lay all the praise on his classy mount following the win.
“He probably had a fitness edge over the others but take nothing away from him, he’s a tough horse,” Bowman said after dismounting
“In the end he won with authority and just great to win for the Dubbo connections.”
In taking out the 2015 Concorde Stakes, Shiraz has now won ten of his fifteen career starts; having finished in the minors on two other occasions.