Classy sprinter Shiraz revealed a rambunctious streak in his last run when biting an opposing runner but rider Jason Collett believes the real challenge at Rosehill this Saturday will be the 1500m journey.

Story courtesy Tom Walter

Shiraz, trained by Kim Waugh at Wyong, ranged up to win the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago but was edged out in a blanket finish after attempting to take a chunk out of Burning Passion.



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It was subsequently revealed in the stewards’ report that Shiraz’s actions were in retaliation to being struck over the nose by the whip of Josh Parr, rider of Burning Passion.

“It took me by surprise a bit. It came out of nowhere,” Collett said.

“I was pushing him out, the run had presented itself and the next thing he’s launched into the other horse. It cost him a lot of momentum.

“It’s hard to say if it cost him victory but it was costly nonetheless – he was only beaten 0.4 of a length.”

“I was unaware at the time that he had been struck by a stray whip so that probably aggravated him.”

Stewards placed a warning against the racing manners of Shiraz but the rising eight-year-old gelding has been cleared to start in Saturday’s Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) back at Rosehill where he will be tested beyond 1400m for the first time in his 31-start career.

“He’s going to need to be ridden quietly to see out the trip, because he’s primarily a sprinter, but we’ve got a nice gate to do that,” Collet said.

“Obviously if the track was soft or heavy you’d probably be a bit more confident knowing that he’s going to handle it whereas others may not but he’s versatile and felt fine the other day on good ground.”

Shiraz is an $8 chance with online bookmaker Sportsbet to break a drought spanning almost two years.

Shiraz and Hetty Heights bound for Rosehill Gardens On Saturday

Talented gallopers Shiraz and Hetty Heights head down the highway bound for Rosehill taking their places in consecutive races on Saturday.



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Shiraz has been a model of consistency of late finishing on the placegetters heels in recent starts and once again meets similar field when he steps out to the 1500m for the first time when he lines uo in the Winter Challenge, race 7. The Zariz gelding hit the line well over the seven furlongs and has continued to thrive both on and off the track in the lead up to Saturday’s event. “Shiraz is very well, He’s been holding his form really well all campaign. He’s not the biggest horse in training and he will certainly appreciate getting down in the weights and from a good gate, in barrier 2 and should get a lovely run in transit just off the pace and with an ounce of luck in running I’m sure he will acquit himself well” added Kim. Jason Collett continues his association with Shiraz on Saturday.

Hetty Heights dives late to score at Rosehill

Hetty Heights dives late to score at Rosehill

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Hetty Heights will be out to atone for her most recent defeat when ridden on speed last start whe she steps out in race 8 ATC Thanks Our Owners Hcp over 1350m. The Written Tycoon mare has continued to impress the team since her last start over the distance at Rosehill a fortnight ago. ‘Hetty Heights is great, she is a mare that like to get back in her races however she found herself on speed last start which certainly isn’t her racing style I have tinkered with her gear and as a result have take off the blinkers in a bid to get her to settle more kindly in the run. When ridden correctly she’s a mare that can reel off strong closing sectionals and I have no doubt she can return to form on Saturday” added Kim. Tim Clark Knows the mare well having ridden her at her last three starts, with the pair jumping from barrier 10.

King Viv and Oxford Poet hit and run mission to Doomben on Saturday

King Viv and Oxford Poet both head north in a hit and run mission taking their places in D.A Earnst Handicap and Spring Racing @BRC Handicap respectively.

King Viv

                                       KIng Viv

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King Viv takes his place in race 4 D. A Earnst Handicap over 2000m. The Flakirk gelding has been racing really well of late and has continued to please all concerned following his last start fourth over the 2000m at Rosehill a fortnight ago with the stable confident of another strong showing. “King Viv is great, he’s been racing really well all prep and has certainly continued to please following his last start fourth over the distance at Rosehill a fortnight ago. He’s drawn nicely in barrier 6 and should be able to settle midfield and with luck in running I’m sure he will be most competitive, King Viv is a  lightly raced improving type and Saturday’s assignment looks a nice race for him at this stage.’ added Kim. Jeff Lloyd has secured to ride aboard King Viv, with the pair jumping from barrier 6.

Oxford Poet returns to scale after his Rosehill victory

Oxford Poet returns to scale after his Rosehill victory

Oxford Poet leads to field out in race 6 Spring Racing @BRC Handicap over 1350m. The bold front running gelding has continued to please Kim and heads to Doomben fir and well following two runs against similar class in Sydney. ‘Oxford Poet is well, He’s a big strong gelding that has taken a couple of runs to get match fit and heads to Queensland fit and well. Saturday’s race looks a very suitable option at this stage of his prep and he should be able to get a nice run in transit on speed from the good gate. Inform heavyweight jockey Damian Browne has secured the ride aboard Oxford Poet on Saturday” added Kim.