Handy mare Shellez Ace bounced back from a poor performance at New Plymouth last weekend in the best possible style when she trounced her rating 85 rivals over 1400m at Rotorua.
The Swiss Ace mare had disappointed when finishing near the rear when well supported in last weekend’s Listed Opunake Cup (1400m). Fast forward seven days and the Karyn McQuade trained galloper looked a completely different proposition as she strolled clear in the run home to win virtually untouched in the hands of three-kilogram claimer Darren Danis.
“Our aim with her was to go for the Opunake Cup, as we own the broodmare, so if you get a chance to get in a black-type race you go for it,” explained McQuade.
“Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go to plan. When she came back in she hadn’t really blown so we thought we will see how she backs up.”
McQuade and husband Hamish, who bred and share in the ownership of the rising five-year-old, got the perfect answer courtesy of a top ride from Danis who showed good initiative when a pre-race plan to lead didn’t eventuate.
“His instructions were to go forward and lead if he could,” said McQuade.
“The other two in front took off but he never took a hold of her, so she didn’t worry about it.
“He asked her to go at the right time so we’re really happy with her.”
Danis was full of praise for his mount when questioned after the race.
“I had a really good run behind the pacemakers and she travelled brilliantly for me,” he said.
“She was so relaxed and when I asked her she gave me everything.
“As soon as she got beside the horses in the straight I knew I had it as she hadn’t really done much until then.
“She was just rock solid throughout.” – NZ Racing Desk
Video replay: Shellez Ace powers to victory at Rotorua