LOUTH Park trainer Darren Elder is eyeing a run at the Victoria Cup with Shannonsablast after an impressive fighting effort to win at Menangle on Saturday night.
Driver Brad Elder took Shannonsablast ($2.70 favourite) three wide early to take the lead in race two (1609 metres) but was headed by Perth Inter Dominion series first acceptor Blow A Cloud on the home turn. However, Shannonsablast finished the strongest to win by a half-neck in 1.53.5.
“I was very happy with him,” Darren Elder said. “He’s not generally that good a front runner, that's why we don’t usually drive him that way, but he fought on well last night.”
The victory follows the decision by connections not to pay an acceptance fee to stay in the race for a top-30 ranking and start in the Inter Dominion series.
Shannonsablast, which was 82nd in the second list of Inter Dominion rankings, will instead focus on Menangle racing ahead of the Melbourne summer carnival and the January 28 group 1 Victoria Cup at Melton.
“The plan is just to keep him fit and get ready to take him to Melbourne,” Elder said. “There’s the Victoria Cup, and obviously he’s got to be going good to go in it, but we’ll just wait for the summer carnival to kick off and we’ll head down there for a bit.”
At Newcastle on Saturday night, trainer Clayton Harmey and driver Josh Osborn had winning doubles.
Osborn won with Magic Maddie for Cameron Davies and Thatsnotberrynice for Harmey, who also had success with the Alex Wicks-driven Mai Joi.