Story courtesy Chris Roots SMH
The focus might be on Kim Waugh’s latest star acquisition Shiraz at Rosehill on Saturday, but she warns not to underrate in-form Supreme Effort in the Starlight Stakes.
Shiraz is at Waugh’s yard to have the benefit of being trained from a yard and a paddock, which has been the case previously when he has performed at his best.
The Galaxy runner-up resumes in the Starlight Stakes, and Waugh admits she is still learning about him.
“When Tony McEvoy had him at Hawkesbury he was in a yard and was happy and racing well. We are trying to do the same thing with him and he can go back to the farm if we want to put him in a paddock,” Waugh said.
“He is obviously a very good sprinter, a group 1 sprinter, and has trialled well after having a bit of a spell. I want to see what he can do and then we’ll decide what we are going to target with him.
“He could have a couple of runs and be put away for those sprints in the autumn again.”
After going through his grades with McEvoy, Shiraz ran fourth to English in the Challenge Stakes before being beaten in a photo finish by Griante in the group 1 The Galaxy. He struggled with stable life in Melbourne at the beginning of the spring, failing twice.
While it is the unknown with Shiraz, Waugh knows what she has in Supreme Effort, a winner of seven races, which is having the best preparation of his career.
He started this campaign by winning the Hurricane Stakes at Newcastle and Port Macquarie Sprint, before running third to Flippant down the straight at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.
But it was the last run that has Waugh thinking he is ready to break through for a listed win.
“I think people always underestimate him,” she said. “He is very fit and tough and racing in great form.
“He got a bit lost down the straight and still got home well, and then last time he didn’t have a chance the way the race was run. He got back last and ran home in 32.65 [seconds for the last 600 metres], which was the fastest of the day, so the run was better than it looked.
“There is more speed in this race and that will suit him, and I think he can run a very good race.”
Waugh will also have Hetty Heights resuming at Rosehill, and there are a couple of options for her after that.
She won the Wyong Provincial Championship heat earlier in the year and was sixth in the final, and could return to the series again next year.
However, it will depend how she shapes up this preparation.
“She has five wins, so if she wins another one that counts her out of the Provincial Championships,” Waugh said. “That is what I would like to do, but we are aware that Provincial Championships are still an option for her
“I think she is up to black-type races, so something like the Belle Of The Turf at Gosford could be a good race for her.
“She has come back well and goes well first up. We will see where this preparation takes us.”