Trainer Allan Sharrock looks towards Auckland Cup with Ladies First

Ladies First
Ladies First
Kawi’s season might be over, but New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock has a Group One firmly in his sights with another emerging star of his stable.

Sharrock has confirmed a fetlock issue, which came to light after Kawi’s unplaced run in last Saturday’s Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa, has ended the seven-time Group One winner’s season.

“He’s got heat and filling in a fetlock and while it’s not serious, he’s too good a horse to be mucking around with for a couple of weeks trying to get another run out of this campaign,” he said.

“He’s up at the Hamilton Vet Clinic and they are happy with him. It’s nothing major, but enough to back off him for the season. We’re pulling out at the right time and this way he can come back and have a really good year as an eight-year-old.”

Sharrock’s Group One focus now switches to his Auckland Cup (3200m) favourite Ladies First, who tackles right-handed racing for the first time in Saturday’s Westinghouse Nathan’s Memorial (2400m) at Ellerslie.

Sharrock said there was room for improvement in the Dylan Thomas five-year-old’s work right-handed on Tuesday and though she trained well on Thursday morning, he was expecting her to take benefit from her first race in the clockwise direction.

“She’ll have two runs right-handed before the Auckland Cup – this Saturday and the Saturday before the race,” Sharrock said.

“I always like them to have a practice run that way around. She’s not gilt-edged for Saturday, but then the heavy ground will suit her so she should still run well.”

Ladies First has won seven of her 13 starts, six on heavy tracks to go with her last-start win on a good track at Te Rapa.

“It was a terrific run at Te Rapa, albeit in just a three-horse field. It caught me a bit by surprise just how forward she was and I have to be careful I don’t peak her too soon, but I’m delighted with her general condition.

“If it’s a firm track for the Auckland Cup, she’ll be very competitive, but if it rains, they might just be
in a world of pain.”