Godolphin runner Shards has stamped himself as one to watch through the 2015 Spring Carnival at Royal Randwick over the weekend; producing an impressive final straight sprint to take out the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m).
Jumping well from the rails draw, jockey James McDonald immediately led the son of Medaglia D’oro forward, settling in prime position on the heels of stable mate Inner Circle and Voilier, who flew the barriers and set a reasonable tempo.
Arriving on the final straight with plenty to do, Shards immediately responded when asked for an extra effort by McDonald; quickly spooling up before launching an impressive turn of foot to find the line half a length ahead of Voilier; race favourite Sebring Sun recovering from a poor start to run third.
McDonald delivered a typically polished performance aboard Shards for success in the 2015 Up And Coming Stakes and is confident the horse is up to the standard of Group 1 feature races this time.
“He was a bit slow to begin with but got into a nice spot and he did the rest from there,” McDonald said after dismounting.
“I thought I was a little bit in trouble 300m from home but as soon as he heard a horse come to his outside he was better.”
John O’Shea was pleased with the performance mustered by Shards to win the 2015 Up And Coming Stakes and is confident the horse is looking for a mile this season.
“A great McDonald ride,” O’Shea said.
“He did a couple of things wrong and was a bit fresh, but this stallion we’ve got Medaglia D’Oro we’ve got a wonderful bunch of horses by him and this is another one.
“He had lovely residual fitness but as you saw in the enclosure he still had nice improvement and he was still a little bit ring rusty having only had the one trial.
“He’ll improve dramatically and as the races get longer up to a mile I think he’ll really come into his own.”
In taking out the 2015 Up And Coming Stakes, Shards extended his career record to two wins and as many minors through four competitive starts.
2015 Up And Coming Stakes Results
|1||3||SHARDS||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||1||56kg||$3.60|
|2||2||VOILIER||Gary Nickson||Blake Shinn||0.4L||2||58kg||$8|
|3||1||SEBRING SUN||Gary Portelli||Hugh Bowman||1.7L||5||58kg||$2.40F|
|4||6||TATOOSH||Paul Perry||Danny Beasley||1.9L||3||56kg||$19|
|5||8||CANNYESCENT||Gabrielle Englebrecht||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2L||7||56kg||$10|
|6||5||LAND’S END||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||3.2L||8||56kg||$26|
|7||7||MAN OF CHOICE||Luke Price||Tommy Berry||3.4L||4||56kg||$26|
|8||4||INNER CIRCLE||John O’Shea||Tim Clark||3.5L||6||56kg||$14|