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Shenzhou Steeds races away!

It is quite a nice feeling when your jockey has a peep over his shoulder early in the straight, his mount going so well that he has to see where the others are!

Which is what Craig Newitt did at Flemington on Saturday, the promising Shenzhou Steeds looking the winner from before the turn in the Cleanevent Handicap and finding plenty in the run home to salute by a soft 1.3 lengths.

"I stoked him up before the corner," Newitt said, "and he just found that extra gear and ran through the line solidly - he probably has more quality than those behind him."

A horse always well regarded by the stable, Shenzhou Steeds campaigned well over the Brisbane winter carnival last year (winning three in a row including the Listed Sunshine Coast Guineas) and he is likely to again head north this year.

"He is a very progressive horse," Anthony Feroce said, "and he was just too strong today."

"He may have one more run here or head straight to Queensland - Mike things he goes better the right handed way."

Congratulations to owners Giuseppe Del Mastro, Paul Woods, Neville Byrne, Grant Devonport, Brian Kinnane, Joseph Versace, Dino Strano, the Till Tuesday Syndicate (manager Michael Caporale) and McGrath Racing (manager Michael McGrath).

A son of Ishiguru, Shenzhou Steeds is out of the five times winning mare Sun City, also dam of the smart Hong Kong galloper Hot Shot. She is a half sister to the Gr.1 AJC Sires' Produce Stakes winner Reganza, dam of the VRC Oaks heroine Kensington Palace.

Whilst Anthony was deputizing at Flemington, Mike was at Morphettville where a lovely ride by Luke Currie saw Sabrage run a gallant second in the Gr.1 South Australian Derby.

Jumping from the outside gate, the VRC Derby placegetter got a long way back along the rails, weaving his way through the field to beat all but Zabeelionare.

Hopefully the stable's good run continues on Sunday where we saddle up five runners at Geelong, Sale and the Sunshine Coast.

In Queensland four-year-old Raise Your Pulse will be ridden by Victorian apprentice Jake Noonan in a 1200m maiden and we are hoping she can improve on her somewhat average record.

"She has been pretty disappointing," Mike said - "her track work has always been good but she is yet to show it on raceday. She is however stronger this time in so we are hoping she can improve."

Closer to home we have three runners at Geelong, kicking off with debutant Barbuda who has shown good ability.

"He was a trial winner in New Zealand and he has shown talent in his jump-outs here. He is a really nice two-year-old type with a bit of speed."

Import Surface Tension is nicely primed for 2000m third up later in the day, the five-year-old shaping well this preparation.

"He didn't really handle the slow going last start but he kept trying. He is a horse we have always had a bit of an opinion of and the rise in distance will suit."

Well bred Redoute's Choice filly Revidere also heads to Geelong and we are looking for an improved showing from her.

"She is coming off a disappointing run," Mike conceded, "but she has been working very well and the extra distance will sut."

Sirrah is the first of our two Sale runners, the lightly raced four-year-old having her first run since last winter.

"This is the first time we've been able to keep condition on her," Mike said.

"She is really strong now and she should prove hard to beat from barrier one."

Also first up is the talented Stratocracy who usually finds form quickly.

"He has got a very good first up record and his trials and work have been good - it will be interesting to see how he goes this time in."
[05 May 12]

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