Weather forecasts will be the least of Allan Sharrock’s worries ahead of a Group One target for his talented staying mare Ladies First.
The New Plymouth trainer is growing in confidence about her chances in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m), a race he won in 2012 with Shez Sinsational.
“She can more than cope on firm tracks and if it rains they’ll be in a world of pain,” Sharrock said.
“Two miles for her is no problem and she’s just thriving this time around.”
Ladies First has won six of her 12 starts, including the Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup (1550m) and the Listed Wanganui Cup (2040m), after which the daughter of Dylan Thomas was spelled.
“She’s come back really well and I couldn’t be any happier,” Sharrock said.
Ladies First finished fifth when she resumed over 1550m at Awapuni on Boxing Day and she followed that up with an unplaced but meritorious run in the Group 3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham when she was less than four lengths off the winner Wait A Sec.
“She ran the quickest last 600m,” Sharrock said. “She was entitled to run fifth in the race, she ran into book ends in the straight and was charging through the line.
“She’ll go to Te Rapa for a 2100m race on Waitangi Day next and then to Ellerslie over 2400m and she’ll run again the Saturday before the Cup.
“I’ve worked backwards from the Cup and three staying races before it works out pretty well for her.”
Meanwhile, on Sharrock’s advice the unbeaten Mihaul has left for another stable.
“I haven’t got the facilities to work him,” he said. “He’s had bone chips removed so I said to the owners he would be better off with Moira Murdoch.
“I didn’t want to lose him, but he deserves the best chance and I haven’t got a swimming pool or a treadmill.”
The four-year-old Mihaul hasn’t raced since he won both of his starts at two.