Awapuni galloper Shadows Cast is being set to defend his title in the Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton later this month and will have a final hit-out in the Courtesy Ford Red Craze Bowl (1400m) on his home track on Saturday.
The Mark Oulaghan-trained runner won the race last year before going on to dead-heat with Son of Maher in the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile and his trainer has elected to take the same path this year with the six-year-old who he believes is in similar form.
“I think he’s pretty much on a par to last year, he’s pretty similar,” Oulaghan said.
“It’s more or less a conditioning race for Christchurch, but having said that we would like him to show something reasonably good. I want him to show he is up to going to Christchurch.
“He’s done pretty well since his last race, albeit was a while ago, but he’s fit and seems pretty well, so we’re happy enough with him.”
That last-start was in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on September 22 where he finished towards the tail of the field in the Hastings mile.
“It was a little bit disappointing, because I think if he had of had a decent run it would have been interesting to see where he ended up,” he said.
“He got into a bit of trouble early in the run, he got on the heels of something, which put him off his rhythm a bit and when he was trying to make a bit of ground in the straight he got interfered with. He just had no real luck, it didn’t quite pan out for him.”
Shadows Cast trialed at Otaki earlier this week and Oulaghan said he was pleased with that run heading into Saturday.
“His trial was good, it was at Otaki and the track was a bit off, a bit wet. We settled him back and he ran on, but we didn’t want to do a lot with him. We were happy with the way he pulled up and happy with the way he handled everything.”