Winter Cup locked in for Sea Shepherd

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  • June 07, 2023
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The Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton in August is now firmly in the sights of Sea Shepherd following his win at Wingatui on Sunday.

The four-year-old gelding settled off the pace for jockey Corey Campbell in The Mosgiel Tavern (1400m) before working his way forward on the fence to sit in just behind leader So Natural.

Campbell found a gap between runners and was able to outstay In Disguise to win by a neck, with a further 1-1/4 lengths back to Leica Star in third.

“I was really happy with that. It was a good, tough effort in testing conditions,” trainer Sabin Kirkland said.

“He won with 60 kilos on his back last start, so I was pretty confident with the drop in weight and distance.”

Sea Shepherd will now head north to join Michael and Matthew Pitman’s Canterbury barn for the remainder of his winter preparation, while Kirkland prepares to head to Europe for a summer break.

“He will head away to Pitty this week,” Kirkland said.

“He will head up to have a crack at the Winter Cup. There is a race at Ashburton and maybe one at Christchurch yet, but I will leave that up to Michael.”

Later on the card, stablemate Imabuster was sent out an even money favourite for the Bailey Kennedy @ Edinburgh Realty (1400m), but found the Heavy10 track conditions too taxing, finishing third behind Flick The Switch and Reinedelariviere.

Kirkland was pleased to see Imabuster show plenty of heart when fighting on in the trying conditions and he is looking forward to bringing him back for spring racing.

“He is still growing and Sam (Weatherley, jockey) said he didn’t handle the track one little bit,” Kirkland said.

“He will keep. He will go out to the paddock now and come back in the spring. Those Iffraaj’s just take a bit of time.

“We will go to the early spring races and then suss it out from there.”

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