Hoorah for Shraaoh’s Sydney Cup

4 min read
In a hat trick of Group 1’s for Chris Waller on a day to remember, Shraaoh (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) took out the $2,000,000 Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup over 3200 metres for Australian Bloodstock.

With a strong international field taking their place in the 2019 Sydney Cup, English import Shraaoh outstayed his rivals to pull off a tremendous win on day two of the Championships for leading syndication company, Australian Bloodstock.

With four runners in the race under the Australian Bloodstock banner, Shraaoh claimed a long neck victory over tough galloper Vengeur Masque (Ire) (Monsun {Ger}) with another 1.5 lengths back to Glory Days (NZ) (Red Giant {USA}) in third.

Prepared by Chris Waller, Shraaoh indeed flew under the radar, despite Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett claiming earlier during the week that Shraaoh is their best chance after drawing a favourable gate, in barrier three, with their other fancied runner Big Duke (Ire) (Raven's Pass {USA}), unfortunately, drawing awkwardly in barrier 21.

“He is a genuine two-miler and based on his last run and jumping from a perfect gate, he was always a genuine chance. The Sydney Cup has always been his target,” Lovett said.

Shraaoh has made impressive progress to this level, and in his most recent appearance, he was a gallant second to Gallic Chieftain (Fr) (Tamayuz {GB}) in the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap, which is a proven form line in the past.

"The Sydney Cup has always been his target." - Australian Bloodstock's Jamie Lovett

Having concluded his last preparation with an easy win over 2800 metres at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day, his four starts following his spell have been solid, and he was perfectly poised and rock hard fit to salute in his first Group 1 victory.

Post-race Waller, always thankful for his successes was grateful to the team at Australian Bloodstock who also pickes up a $50,000 trainers’ bonus, with Shraaoh having placed in a key pathway race.

“Shraaoh was identified from England by the people behind the horse, and I thank them very much. They’ve entrusted me to set him for the Sydney Cup. He won first-up over 2800 metres. That gave us the confidence to know he was capable of winning a race like this.”

“The team in the northern hemisphere said he was twice the horse on a dry track, and he proved that today.”

Riding the rollercoaster

Shraaoh’s Jockey Jay Ford was thrilled with the six-year-old winning as it was his first Group 1 victory in almost a decade, having partnered Monaco Consul to win the 2009 Spring Champion Stakes.

“He travelled well. Almost too well, as the tempo was muddling, on and off pace. I think the week back up certainly worked for him. From the half-mile he was always travelling, and I was just pinching runs along the fence. I just needed a little bit of room at the right time, and we were able to push ourselves into the clear. He was very game to the line,” Ford said.

"I just needed a little bit of room at the right time, and we were able to push ourselves into the clear." - Jay Ford

“It’s very satisfying. I have ridden the rollercoaster for a long time in Sydney,” Ford said post-race. "I used to ride a very good horse, in Takeover Target, and then he disappeared, and things have been up and down ever since.”

“I’ve had bits and pieces of opportunities ever since. I’m thankful I can ride light, and I do ride a lot for Chris (Waller). I’m just happy to prove to myself more than anything that I can still compete and get the job done. I had a wonderful horse underneath me to help me.”

A jubilant Jay ford crosses the line in the G1 Sydney Cup

Jamie Lovett, along with co-director Luke Murrell have enjoyed much success with Australian Bloodstock through the elite gallopers Protectionist, Tosen Stardom, Brave Smash, Big Duke, Red Cardinal, Mongolian Wolf, Master of Design and Reliable Man.

Shraaoh’s sire, the six-time Group 1 winning sire Sea The Stars (Ire) (Cape Cross) who stands at Gilltown Stud is doing an outstanding job. Additionally, Shraaoh’s dam Jumooh (GB) is by highly- proven staying stallion Monsun (Ger), who also sired runner up Vengeur Masque and Melbourne Cup winners Fiorente, Protectionist and Almandin.