Shark Shows His Brilliance on the Clock in Stunning Victory

Date: 6 Mar 2020

Shark Shows His Brilliance on the Clock in Stunning Victory

Ken Boman for reports:

After drawing badly in stall 12 and conceding the leaders some eight lengths nearing the home turn, talented New Zealander Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle) needed to produce an effort out of the box to win Saturday's Chipping Norton Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) at Randwick. And he did.

The five-year-old took a moment to respond to Opie Bosson's riding on turning into the straight before storming home, displaying an exceptional turn of foot to eventually claim a soft, half-length win at the post in a time of 1:33.87.

That was a quick overall time, while his sectional time for the last 600 metres was a brilliant 32.59, clearly the fastest for that section on the nine-race card, with a 200-metre breakdown of 10.93, 10.62 and 11.04. 

The victory took Te Akau Shark's imposing record to seven wins and four placings from 12 starts, while this was the powerful chestnut's second Group 1 success having won the BCD Group Sprint (Gr 1, 1400m) at Te Rapa when resuming on February 8.

The runner-up, New Zealand-bred mare Verry Elleegant (Zed), was brave in defeat, staging one of her best performances at her second run back.

The dual Group 1 winner has raced far more tractibly this preparation and after settling in fourth spot, Verry Elleegant hit the front at the 100 metres. She then fought gamely for second, clocking a quick 33.62 for her last 600 metres.

Japanese-bred import Fierce Impact (Deep Impact) came from seventh at the home turn and the dual Group 1 winner then battled on well for a good third, a length and a quarter further back.

Godolphin's three-time Group 1 winner Avilius (Pivotal) took the eye in running on for fourth, beaten two lengths, after coming from back in 11th place when having his second start this preparation.

Avilius' closing sectional times were impressive: 1:08.20 (last 1200m), 56.41 (last 1000m), 44.40 (last 800m) 32.79 (last 600m) and 21.82 for his final 400 metres.

The Godolphin-raced gelding now heads to Flemington tomorrow for the Australian Cup (Gr 1, 2000m) looking primed for another Group 1 victory.


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