Cup test for promising gelding

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

The Brent Mangos-trained Romeo Shard will face his stiffest task to date when he tackles the McMillan-Holmes 2022 Waikato Cup (2700m) at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday.

The son of Bettor’s Delight has won three of his six starts to date and will be first-up since New Zealand Cup week in November.

While pleased with his charge ahead of Thursday, Mangos said he hasn’t had the ideal preparation.

“His work has been really good,” Mangos said.

“To be fair on the horse last week the trials were cancelled so he had to just go and have a private workout at Pukekohe.

“The week prior to that he was wiped out by another runner (in his trial). He hasn’t really had the trials that I would have liked but he is forward.”

Mangos is also wary about his opposition, which includes Major Jellis who finished runner-up in the Gr.3 Summer Cup (2200m) at Alexandra Park last month.

“It is a jump in grade to what he was racing at Addington. Over Cup Week they were good, strong runs but they were against under two-win horses,” Mangos said.

“He comes up against a horse like Major Jellis who ran second at Auckland last week to Hot And Treacherous.

“He has struck a very nice field but I think he is forward enough to run first four.”

Mangos is eyeing the $100,000 Country Cups Final at Addington Raceway next month with his charge.

“Depending on how he comes through tomorrow, he will probably head to Manawatu next week where they have a $20,000 Country Cups race, and there is another one at the end of the month that would make him eligible for the final,” he said.

Mangos will also head to Cambridge with two other runners, Chris Kyle in the Agrowquip Mobile Pace (2200m) and Slippery Mistress in the Bo & Co Electrical Trot (2200m).

“I think Slippery Mistress is a good eachway chance,” Mangos said.

“She does seem to go a little bit better left-handed. She has only had a couple of runs at Auckland where she galloped around the first bend, but she is usually foolproof at home.

“Her work has been really good so I wouldn’t be surprised if she runs in the first three or four.

“Chris Kyle has been disappointing. I thought he would have won a couple of races by now.

“He is running out of chances and from the draw (6) Todd (Macfarlane) will probably drive him for a bit of luck, but he needs to improve immensely.

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