Here The Shock earns a start in the Stradbroke

Here The Shock (NZ) earned himself a start in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) when scoring a narrow win in the $300,000, Group 3, Ladbrokes BRC Sprint (1350m) in the final race of the day at Doomben in Brisbane.

A member of the Ben, Will & JD Hayes stable based in Victoria, the late developing 6-year-old son of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking has raced in career best form of late and headed north off the back of a recent 1400m success at Caulfield followed by a close second over 1600m at the same Melbourne metropolitan circuit.

Assigned the Stradbroke qualifier with Michael Dee in the saddle, Here The Shock (NZ) recorded the ninth win of his 29 start career when holding off the fast finishing favourite Freedom Rally by the proverbial ‘skin of his teeth’.

Here The Shock (NZ) holds on gamely from Freedom Rally (yellow colours); picture Racing Queensland/Michael McInally

Traditionally one of the most competitive races of each and every Queensland winter carnival, the BRC Sprint witnessed Here The Shock (NZ) and Freedom Rally hold a clear advantage over a posse of rivals lead home in third by Prince of Boom. Long time leader Zarastro held on for fourth, with the likes of Yellow Brick (5th), Vilana (6th), The Inevitable (7th) and Strait Acer (8th) all finishing strongly in the straight before crossing the line little more than two lengths off the winner.

Co-trainer JD Hayes was on hand for the win and stated in his post-race interview, “Photo finishes haven’t really been going our way over the last six months, so great to get the head down. Brave effort by the horse, terrific ride and just super.”

JD Hayes added: “This horse has really gone to another level and I was pleased he was able to cope with the speed. He was strong through the line …  he’s a horse in form and that is a force to be reckoned with.”

Visiting winning rider Michael Dee brought up a double on the day for his troubles and claimed in the aftermath of his success, “I thought I might have just held on. Good, tough effort but I’m glad the winning post came up.”

Dee also remarked: “I was very happy after two furlongs and there was speed coming across from out wide. It got messy there approaching the 1000-metres. [I] Had to concede a position or else we would have been in an average spot. Glad it all worked out. It was tough to hold any challengers.”

Here The Shock (NZ) (by Shocking) was returned at $8.00, Freedom Rally (by Rubick) as the $4.80 favourite, and Prince of Boom (by Spirit of Boom) at $21.

Winning time on the Soft 6 was 1m20.07s (last 600m in 35.40s), and the official margins Nose x One Length.

Here The Shock (NZ) races in the colours made famous by Alinghi on behalf of Mr R J Slade, Mr N P Arena, Mr S R French, Mr PF Venner, Mr J W Knight, Mr M L Davies, Mr M J Alexander, Mr KAK Briggs, Mr B A H White, Mr M W Hyslop, Mr B J Smith, Mr K Moore, Terrigal Sharks, Mr I C Petrie, Great Sensation Racing, Mr P R Stebbins, Mr W Frendo, Mr J T Buttner & Mr D J Langborne. 

Formerly trained by Brent Stanley, the Lindsay Park trained sprinter-miler took his earnings to $885,180 with his BRC Sprint victory and now gets a shot at the $3 million Stradbroke Handicap to be run on Saturday 15 June.