100% Strike Rate at Rotorua - No.1 Winner Shezathinka

Date: 18 Mar 2020

100% Strike Rate at Rotorua - No.1 Winner Shezathinka

Able to dictate terms in front, Shezathinka  (4 m So You Think - Headsup, by Thorn Park) bolted home in the $11,000 John Newton Memorial Rating 72 2200 metres on 18 March at Rotorua.

Formerly one of the highest rated Maiden gallopers, due largely to a terrific performance for second in the Lowland Stakes (Gr. 2, 2100m) last season, she broke that status in September at Matamata, and dropped in class after contesting the Rating 72 2100 metres on Derby Day (Feb. 29) at Ellerslie.

After beginning well, and with no competition for the pace, rider Danielle Johnson controlled proceedings aboard the good-looking mare and she appeared to have their measure as early as the 400m before racing clear to win by five lengths.

“It was a nice ride, stacked them and let her roll along a bit from the 1000m and just kept quickening because she's not a sit and sprint type but a genuine stayer,” said trainer Jamie Richards. 

“She is very well named and can over think things, so she'll take good confidence from the win and we can raise our sights a little bit from here.”

On Dead4 footing, Shezathinka ran the 2200 metres in a respectable 2:16.8. As the race favourite, beating second favourite Elate (Savabeel), she paid $2.40 & $1.30 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Purchased by David Ellis for $175,000 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, from the draft of Kilgravin Lodge, owned by the Te Akau Think Fast Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Shezathinka is by ten-time Group One winner So You Think (High Chaparral), from five-time winning mare Headsup (Thorn Park), herself very consistent and impressive winning over 1400 metres and 1600 metres.

Similarly too, Headsup was a winner in the month of March and a mare with ability to handle slow footing she went on during her 2010 campaign to add victories in May and June. 

“She was a beautiful filly when we bought her, breezed up well, and one we thought could develop into a three-year-old classic type, which she did when runner-up in the Lowland and she'd just had enough by the time the Oaks rolled around,” Ellis said. 

“She's continued to develop, ran a big race for second to her stable-mate She's Not Bad (He's Remarkable) when resuming in December at Taupo, and hasn't done much wrong. She deserved the win and Danielle (Johnson) summed it nicely. She's already a stakes' placed filly and no reason why she couldn't get back to that level again.”

The victory provided Richards with his 97thsuccess this season in New Zealand (100thincluding Australia), to lead the premiership by 25, at a strike rate of 4.8 and prize money over $3.7 million ($6.3 million including Australia). Notable also, 13 of his last 32 runners have won, with five stakes' winners including four at Group One level. 

Currently, Richards is sixth in the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary Global Rankings.

Akin to the ATP Tennis Tour Rankings, or PGA Golf Tour Rankings, the TRC Trainer Rankings are the measure of achievement over a rolling three-year period, based not only on prize money but the quality of performances by their horses in Group and Graded races. Racing Post Ratings (RPRs) are used to help calculate the merit of every performance. 

Shezathinka was strapped by Tracy Collis.

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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