Sharkies Girl out for first blood
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Zachary Butcher is hoping Sharkies Girl can make a splash on debut at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday when she lines-up in the Shaws Mobile Pace (2200m).
The Auckland trainer has been pleased with what he has seen from the daughter of Sweet Lou in her two public hit-outs, and he is hoping that form can transfer to raceday.
“Her trials have been okay so hopefully she steps up to that maiden grade and goes a good race,” Butcher said.
“It was only a two-horse heat and she was doing it all on her own. She ran along in a pretty handy enough time, so you can’t dismiss how good she went.
“But when you are up against a big field like that (on Thursday) you have still got to put the right foot forward on the day.
“As long as she is hitting the line well and she is thereabouts at the finish, we will be pretty happy.”
Sharkies Girl will be joined by four other debutants in the field and Butcher has done his homework on their rivals.
“I have gone back and had a look at them. They are in the same boat as her, it probably comes down to who gets the right run,” he said.
While she has taken a while to learn her craft, Butcher said Sharkies Girl is starting to show some promise at home.
“She has taken a fair while to get going,” he said. “It’s her third prep and it took her a while to get a hang of high speed and putting her feet in the right places.
“Her mum (Voluntad) was the same, she would go out and gallop in the warm-up.
“She has never set the world on fire, but she has got better and better the longer she has gone. Hopefully she keeps on improving.”
Butcher, who takes the reins on Thursday, will have five other drives at Cambridge, including Grey Stoke in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Handicap Trot (2200m) and Themighty Miki in the Gavelhouse.com Mobile Pace (2700m).
“Grey Stoke has been racing very consistently,” Butcher said. “He comes up against a strong field that he raced in last time and had the right sort of run and kicked home for second.
“If he can do everything right again and get the same sort of run, he won’t be far away, he is an honest horse.
“Themighty Miki is in a strong enough field but he is definitely not out of his class. Hopefully we can get him off the gate (1) well enough to hold up and see what happens. He won’t be far away either.”