Day At The Track

Sheemon throws down the gauntlet

11:16 AM 04 Nov 2014 NZDT
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Sheemon - In great form heading into Cup Week
Sheemon - In great form heading into Cup Week
Sheemon

Harness racing often has horses that one describes as the "bridesmaid" due to their ability to always find one better on raceday.

Such was the case with the Monarchy gelding Sheemon all through his 3 year old career with Habibti, Royal Aspirations and Blitzemcalder all having the wood on him at that stage.

At four Sheemon started to beat those same horses with a win in the Harness Jewels and a close second to the reigning trotter of the year in Master Lavros in the Rowe Cup among the highlights.

This season at five, Sheemon looks to be back better than ever and if yesterdays win in the open class trot at Kaikoura is any guide, then Sheemon looms as the major danger to Stent over the Cup week features.

At his last start before Kaikoura at Ashburton, Sheemon had uncharacteristically broken twice but yesterday was back to his reliable self.

Stepping well from barrier one, Sheemon settled three back on the inner early as Lotalov lead with Donaldson in the trail.

After 800 metres Dexter Dunn moved Sheemon out into the running line and had a look for the front but David Butt on Lotalov wasn't keen on handing up so Sheemon settled in the death seat.

Passing the 600 metres Sheemon surged to the front and set sail for home and that was the last anyone saw of him as he distanced a quality field.

What made the run even more impressive was Sheemon set a new New Zealand record in the process. taking four tenths of a second off the previous mark.

Sheemon trotted the 2400 metres from a stand in 3:00.6, a mile rate of 2:01 with closing sectionals of 58.5 and 30.5

Donaldson stuck on well for second albeit 5 1/2 lengths away while Irish Whisper was ok in running into third, a further 6 lengths back.

Dexter was full of praise for Sheemon after the race. 

" He is such a lovely horse to drive

"He went to the front on his own down the back and when I clicked him up at the 400 metres he took off" he said

Dexter was keen to put the Ashburton run behind him.

"We took the overcheck off at Ashburton and it back fired on us

"It was back on today and it  is staying on" he said

The disappointment of the race was last years trotter of the year in Master Lavros who broke early and settled back before getting a charmed run up on the inner.

He had run into third 50 metres out before galloping again and was disqualified.

While the huge trotter is unsuited to the tight flat track at Kaikoura, his trainer Mark Jones is running out of time to sort the champion trotter out with Cup week only seven days away.

With his manners and the form he is in Sheemon looks to be in a great position to finally rid himself of that "bridesmaid" tag in the Group One features over Cup week.

Harnesslink Media

 

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