Positive reports flowing on Kiwi Melbourne Cup hope

Ladies Man winning the Group 1 Livamol Classic. Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

Regular updates from across the Tasman have kept a constant smile on New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock’s face since his stable star Ladies Man left for Australia.

Sharrock will head over on Friday to put the finishing touches on his Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) contender, who will step out at Flemington on Saturday in the Group 3 Archer Stakes (2500m).

Ladies Man booked his passage with a last-start victory in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on the final day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival and travelled to Australia in the care of Sharrock’s partner Emma Davies.

“He went over last Wednesday and from all reports, he looks super, and he worked super on Saturday, he’s very, very well,” he said.

Ladies Man is stabled at the Mornington training operation of Sharrock’s long-time friend and former top jumps jockey Brett Scott.

“We go back a long way, I was best man at his wedding. Everything seems to be going to plan at this stage and the horse is in a happy environment and Emma is really, really thrilled with him,” he said.

Part-owned by Sharrock with the O’Leary and Stanley families, Ladies Man has won seven of his 22 starts and proved his depths of stamina last season with a stout finish from the tail of the field to run third in the Group 2 Auckland Cup (3200m).

He will be given a chance to familiarise himself with the track and the atmosphere on Saturday.

“The Lexus isn’t the goal, it’s the Cup obviously but he can have a good look at Flemington and get a feel for the crowd before Tuesday,” Sharrock said.

“There was one wise old trainer who always raced them on the Saturday and then the Cup and that was Bart Cummings, so I don’t see any problem with it.

“He can pull a little bit in his races, so a run on Saturday will just take that edge off him, it should work out well.”

Lightweight jockey Dean Yendall has been booked for the Archer and the Cup.

“He will ride him in both, he’s only got 50kg in the Cup and I’ll need a wheelbarrow to take the saddle out on Saturday because I think he’ll have 58 or 59kg,” Sharrock said.

Meanwhile, Sharrock is also looking forward to a major result in another role at the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale at Karaka where will offer Lot 116 through Woburn Farms’ draft.

The two-year-old is a half-brother by Contributer to the multiple Group 1 winner and Hong Kong Star Lucky Sweynesse, with their dam the Red Clubs mare Madonna Mia.

She was trained by Sharrock to win on nine occasions, including the Listed Wanganui Cup (2040m).

“He breezed up really well and I think he’ll go close to being one of the sale toppers. He’s a beautiful colt, he really is such a lovely horse,” he said.

“Luigi Muollo (Novara Park principal) and I are partners and we go foal for foal. He has one and then I have one and she’s gone to Savabeel for me this year.

“She’s been a great mare for us and everything she has can run, it’s quite exciting.”

Madonna Mia has also left Lucky Sweynesse’s sister Signora Mia, a three-time winner who finished third in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m), and debut placegetter Lazio, a son of Per Incanto.

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