William Pike predicted Sheeza Belter would finish strongly, but even the star jockey would’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well she performed to win the $1 million Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm.
The $15 chance with online betting sites produced an incredible sprint inside the last 300m to hold off Swiss Exile for Annabel Neasham, who led for most of the feature, and fly home from the outside.
“I’ve drawn sticky (barrier 15) and it’s a really tough field, but I’m happy riding her,” Pike told horsebetting.com.au before the race.
“And whatever happens I know she’ll be hitting the line hard.”
2022 Sires’ Produce Stakes Replay
Delighted winning trainer Paul Snowden said Good 4 conditions played into Sheeza Belter’s hands.
“Dry track, I think that’s the key to it. She comes from Perth, so she’s not going to see too many wet tracks in her life,” he told Sky Racing.
“She won the Magic Millions over there (at Pinjarra on February 6). To (owner) Justin Warwick’s credit he sent her over. It took about a week to get here via road.
“We stemmed a plan since then. When the races were (postponed) the other week it was a no-brainer to come here today.
“We had to pay the late entry, but that means nothing at the moment. As you can see there’s some owner support here today, and they’re absolutely loving it.”
Snowden did not panic when Swiss Exile was clear off the chasing pack at the 300m mark.
“Obviously, with a $1 million race there was going to be a lot of tempo here. They found their spots quite quickly and I was a little bit unsure,” he said.
“But once we got to 300m, Willie hadn’t moved on her yet. She’s got a really good turn of foot and she really picked up late which was great to see.
“That’s her best racing pattern I feel. When she won the Perth Magic Millions she got back and ran on.
“Whether she was loving Queensland or not, she was very good.”
Snowden said his two-year-old filly now deserves a spell.
“We’re keen to get her to the paddock now – she’s had a good preparation and she’ll only come back bigger and stronger,” he said.