Here To Shock scores on-speed Sandown win

Here To Shock scores on-speed Sandown win11 Feb 2023

Hardy five-year-old Here To Shock (NZ) (Shocking) was back in the winner’s circle with a hard-fought on-speed victory in the Tile Importer Handicap (1400m) for trainers Ben and JD Hayes.

The win provided the trainers with a consolation prize after they had suffered Group One defeat earlier in the day when their first-past-the-post Gentleman Roy (So You Think) was relegated to second to Jacquinot (Rubick) in the CF Orr Stakes (1400m) in the steward’s room.

Damien Oliver took luck out of the equation when going to the front on Here To Shock and the son of Shocking stuck to his guns to prevail by a nose over the fast-finishing Munhamek (Dark Angel).

“It’s been a character building day, for sure, but this is a great way to end the day,” JD Hayes said.

“I thought Ollie (Damien Oliver) rated that horse an absolute treat out in front. The plan was to get cover, but that is why you put the good jockeys on and he made a quick decision to go to the front.

“Full credit to the horse. He put in a flat one (last start) where he melted whereas he paraded really well this time. A mile back to 1400m and it was a great effort by the team back home. I thought it was a really good effort to get this horse back up and winning.”

Here To Shock was having his third start for the Hayes team, having been prepared by Brent Stanley for much of his career, and the addition of ear muffs seemed to work the oracle.

“He can be a bit tricky but he’s really shown a liking for Sandown and the 1400m,” Damien Oliver said.

“I certainly have to pay compliments to the Hayes boys – both JD and Ben. They recommended putting on the ear muffs and they really worked well for him today.

“The horse in the gates next to him played up in the gates badly and he coped with it really well.

“He’s a tough on-pace horse and he’s a big free strider so this big track really suits him.”

Sporting the colours of syndicator Slade Bloodstock, Here To Shock has now won five of his 17 starts, with prize money earnings of A $289,690.

Rob Slade went to $70,000 to purchase the then colt out of the Lonhro mare Frescoes from the 2019 Cambridge Stud yearling draft at the Book 1 Sale at Karaka.

Bred by The Sunlight Trust, Here To Shock is a half-brother to Listed winner Turn The Ace (NZ) (Turn Me Loose).