Here To Shock stakes Stradbroke claim

Here To Shock stakes Stradbroke claim25 May 2024

Here To Shock has claimed a berth in the Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) by the barest of margins when nosing out Freedom Rally to land the Gr.3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Prepared by Ben, Will and JD Hayes, the ever-improving six-year-old continued his strong recent form which included a win in the Gr.3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) last month, prior to a close second to Dashing over a mile at Caulfield.

Winning jockey Michael Dee had Here To Shock on a clear path for victory only for Freedom Rally to dive late and make connections of the eventual winner sweat.

“Photo finishes haven’t really been going our way over the last six months so I was glad to see him get the head down. It was a brave effort by the horse, terrific ride and just super,” JD Hayes said.

“I can’t thank Rob Heathcote and his team enough. They’ve let us stay and made us feel at home and the horse as well.

“It is great for Rob Slade and all the owners. This horse has really gone to another level and I was pleased he was able to cope with the speed today and he was strong through the line.”

The BRC Sprint-Stradbroke double has only been done once, but Hayes said the son of Shocking is up for the challenge.

“It is hard to do but he’s a horse in form and that is a force to be reckoned with. Maybe he can upset history a bit,” he said.

Winning jockey Michael Dee claimed a double on the day and was pleased to get the nod in the tight finish.

“I thought I might have just held on, but he didn’t want a metre longer. It was a good tough effort but I’m glad the winning post came up,” he said.

“I was very happy after two furlongs and then there was a bit more speed coming across from out wide. It got messy there approaching the 1000m.

“I had to concede a position or else we would have been in an average spot but I’m glad it all worked out. It was tough to hold out any challengers.”

Formerly trained by Brent Stanley, the Lindsay Park trained galloper took his earnings to A$885,180 with his BRC Sprint victory and now gets a shot at the A$3 million Stradbroke Handicap to be run at Eagle Farm on June 15.

Sporting the colours of syndicator Slade Bloodstock, Here To Shock has now won nine of his 29 starts, with a further six placings.

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 Racing Desk