3 FEB 22 | NZ Racing Desk

The Group One focus for talented Taranaki three-year-old Shamus has shifted to a shorter challenge in the wake of his first defeat at Te Rapa.

The son of Shamexpress had won four on the bounce, including the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1400m), before he finished third in his inaugural distance test in Wednesday’s Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa.

Trainer Allan Sharrock was pleased with Shamus’ performance, but has ruled out a start in the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) in favour of the Gr.1 Seamarket Levin Classic (1600m) on March 19.

“I thought it was a brave effort at Te Rapa, but I’ve pulled him out of the Derby. I had to try him over ground, but I think 1400 to 2000m is best for him,” he said.

“I think if I went to the Avondale Guineas (Gr.2, 2100m) and then the Derby I would have a bag of bones so I’ll freshen him and go back to the mile. We’ll look after him and he’ll be a lovely horse next season, he could be a super star.”

– NZ Racing Desk