Day At The Track

Shockwave on target to break through

04:41 PM 14 Mar 2019 NZDT
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Shockwave,Harness racing
Scott Hamilton Photo

Talented colt Shockwave, relegated to second in three Group 1 events for two-year-olds last year, is on target to break through for his first feature victory, according to his trainer Ryan Bell.

Bell is happy with Shockwave’s draw at barrier No. 3 in the $50,000 DTS Pine Logs Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night and is confident the Mach Three colt is capable of leading and emerging triumphant in the Group 2 event over 2130m.

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, fresh from landing two winners and winning the Noel Smith Memorial Invitation Drivers Championship at Victorian track Horsham on Monday, will be planning to take full advantage of Shockwave’s sparkling gate speed in a bid for an all-the-way victory.

Bell, who drove Shockwave when the colt finished solidly from the one-out, one-back position to win easily from Its Rock And Roll and Patrickthepiranha in a prelude of this event on Tuesday of last week, said: “He’s done very well since that win and I’m really pleased with him and the way he has come along.

“I thought his win was comfortable, without being exciting. But, surprisingly with the amount of racing he’d had, he came through his run like as though he needed it. However, he’s now jumping out of his skin.

“Barrier three is the best barrier we’ve had for quite a while, so we’re going to make the most of it in a bid to keep the two main dangers (Patrickthepiranha and Its Rock And Roll) on our outside. Shockwave is definitely capable of winning.”

Bell and Hall have already tasted success in the Sales Classic for three-year-old colts and geldings. Hall drove the Katja Warwick-trained Rock Me Over to a neck victory over Our Trump Card 12 months ago and the previous year Bell trained and drove Bob Wheel when he worked hard in the breeze before hitting the front with 100m to travel and winning by a head from the fast-finishing Kasey John.

Hall has formed a good association with Shockwave, a $46,000 yearling, having driven him seven times for four wins, two thirds and a ninth placing.

Shockwave, Patrickthepiranha and Its Rock And Roll are certain to dominate betting on Friday night’s race. Colin Brown trains Patrickthepiranha (a $30,000 yearling) and Its Rock And Roll (a $37,500 yearling). Brown will handle Its Rock And Roll from barrier four and Dylan Egerton-Green will be in the sulky behind Patrickthepiranha at barrier five.

Patrickthepiranha is sure to prove extremely hard to beat. He won in fine style at his first six starts as a three-year-old before being desperately unlucky when third behind Shockwave last week. He began speedily from the No. 5 barrier, but was trapped three wide for the first 500m before being restrained to assume the one-out, two-back position.

Patrickthepiranha was further seriously inconvenienced when a tyre of his sulky was deflated 500m from the finish. Despite that, Patrickthepiranha fought on determinedly to finish just over two lengths behind the winner.

Shockwave also started from the No. 3 barrier in the Sales Classic final for two-year-olds last season when he was the $1.70 favourite. He crossed to the front after 200m and set a solid pace before going down by a head to 12/1 chance Its Rock And Roll, who finished fast from fourth at the bell. Patrickthepiranha, who started from the outside barrier (No. 9), was forced to cover extra ground and did very well to finish third.

Ken Casellas

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