It’s onwards and upwards for a trio of Allan Sharrock’s gallopers following their placings at Awapuni under torrential rain on Saturday.
“It probably got a bit too arduous for two of my runners on Saturday, it got quite heavy with the amount of rain they got,” the Taranaki trainer said.
Ladies Man and Justaskme filled the minor placings behind Belardo Boy in the Gr.3 Metric Mile (1600m), with the Heavy10 track conditions having opposing fortunes for each gelding.
“Ladies Man is a Zed but he is not a real wet-track Zed,” Sharrock said.
“Had the course remained somewhere around a (Slow)7, we would have liked our chances, but it just got too tough for him late in the race.
“It suited the old boy (Justaskme). He went super but he just can’t carry 60.5kg in those conditions against that class of horse, it is hard work for him, but he is racing well.
“I was proud of both of horses and I am really happy going forward to the Livamol with them.”
The Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings next month will play a pivotal role in Ladies Man’s spring plans, with a Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) tilt in the offing if he performs well.
“He couldn’t have impressed me more with his preparation. He is bigger and stronger, and he is racing outstandingly,” Sharrock said.
“To tick that box and head to Melbourne he has probably got to run top three in the Livamol. We do have a back-up plan of a New Zealand Cup (Gr.3, 3200m). Those races are in close proximity, so we would have done the work for both.
“It all hinges on the Livamol for us.”
Meanwhile, stablemate Darci La Bella is another who found the track conditions too taxing on Saturday, finishing runner-up behind Old Town Road in the Carrfield Livestock/Wools of NZ 1200.
“Everyone is of the opinion that she is a wet tracker, but she is actually a better track mare,” Sharrock said.
“When it got that heavy it caused her demise, but she raced well, and she has pulled up really well and that will help her going forward to the Grangewilliam.”
Darci La Bella is now set to head to Hawera on Saturday-week to contest the Gr.3 Grangewilliam Stud Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (1400m), a race she won last season.