Day At The Track

Shandale has come back bigger and better

10:08 AM 24 Sep 2015 NZST
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Shandale - Has come back bigger and better at three
Shandale - Has come back bigger and better at three

Harness racing legend Maurice McKendry is never one to overstate or inflate his opinion of a horse so when he does give a horse a wrap it pays to sit up and take notice.

Shandale was a smart two year old last year, mixing it with the big boys in the major end of season races and showing he was more than capable of holding his own on the big stage.

This season he won his first start back in the manner of a horse on the rise, making up several lengths on a 26.5 quarter against most of the best three year olds in the North.

Purchased out of the 2014 Australasian Classic sale at Auckland by Maurice on behalf of longtime owner Gerald Shand for $52,000, Shandale is bred to be good being by Art Major from a Bettor's Delight grand-daughter of the champion two and three year old filly, Megaera 1:56.8 ($250,646).

Maurice has always had a good opinion of Shandale since he broke him in.

" He is a lovely horse to do anything with and has always impressed me right from the start."

" I looked after him at two and only give him a handful of starts as I thought time would be his biggest friend."

" He has definitely come back a bigger and better horse at three."

" His first up win did surprise me a little bit."

" He wasn't really tight being his first run back and to run home like he did was a top effort," Maurice said.

This week Maurice lines Shandale up in the first of the New Zealand Sires Stakes heats at Cambridge on Friday night.

Although only small in number with six runners, the field comprises the six best three year olds in the North.

Walkinshaw and Motown look the two biggest dangers to Shandale but Maurice is quietly confident going into the race.

" Shandale has really improved with that first up run and his work since has been right up to the mark".
" He should give a really good account of himself but it is a good field all the same," Maurice said.

Shandale looks on track for a big season and looks capable of challenging the All Stars juggernaut in the classics.

Harnesslink Media

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