Rising star Sherrif put up a compelling argument for a trip to Australia with an emphatic performance at Awapuni.
The High Chaparral three-year-old stepped out over ground for the first time in Saturday’s Group 3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic (2000m) and showed staying is his game with a hollow victory.
“It was only his third start after one over 1400m and one over a mile so it was very exciting the way he executed today,” trainer Roger James’ racing manager Robert Wellwood said.
“Since we gelded him he’s come of age. Hopefully, the sky’s the limit for him.” Sherrif’s effort will have connections giving serious consideration to the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) during the winter carnival in Brisbane.
“That’s an opportunity obviously, but we’ll see how he pulls up first,” Wellwood said.
Raced by breeders Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Sherrif is out of the Group 1-performed Danehill mare J’Adane who is also the dam of stablemate and Group 3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) winner Von Tunzelman.
“I think J’Adane is the stable’s favourite mare, we’ve had a bit of luck with her progeny,” Wellwood said.
Sherrif was among the last three in the running before rider Leith Innes urged him forward and a powerful closing 400m saw them too good for Gundown, also by High Chaparral, and Joe’s Legacy.
“Leith made the comment that the middle of the track was a bit better,” Wellwood said.
“He was a long way off them on the corner and they did a huge job to pick them all up. It’s a super result for the owners and all the staff at home.”