Bullish co-trainer Tom Dailly expects Shima Shine to go “a lot quicker” than in his heat victory if he can find the front in Saturday night’s Group 1 Feikuai Rearing Kennels Silver Chief Final (525m) at The Meadows.
But Dailly concedes that’s a big ‘if’, with Shima Shine confronted by box eight and the daunting task of crossing an exceptional line-up of young sprinting talent.
A superbly-bred son of Barcia Bale and Shima Song, Shima Shine had been out of action for more than a month when he resumed in last weekend’s Silver Chief heats, not having raced since the Melbourne Cup heats on November 22.
Shima Shine ran second to Western Australian Campini in his Melbourne Cup heat and was first reserve for the final.
The winner of 12 of his 17 starts, Shima Shine dominated betting on the third Silver Chief heat, starting at $1.10 from box four.
The Ballarat 450m record holder and Million Dollar Chase runner-up was never in danger of defeat, leading throughout in 29.92s, although his time was well outside Hard Style Rico’s fastest qualifying effort of 29.63s.
“He had a couple of small issues after the Melbourne Cup but he’d had a fair preparation – with the Million Dollar Chase, Topgun and Melbourne Cup – and he just needed a bit of a break,” Tom Dailly explained.
“He’ll probably strip a bit fitter on Saturday night, considering what he’d done going into the heats.
WATCH: Shima Shine win his heat of the Silver Chief from box four at The Meadows.
“I would’ve liked him to have gone a smidgin quicker but if he gets on the lure in the final he should go a lot quicker. But that won’t be easy because there’s a lot of pace in the race.”
Shima Shine’s heat victory was only the second time he’d raced at The Meadows, having finished sixth in the Group 1 Topgun invitational from box seven, and he’ll have to contend with another wide draw to claim the Silver Chief’s $100,000 winner’s purse.
Making Shima Shine’s task of snaring his first Group success at his fourth attempt even tougher, he has drawn the extreme outside.
The winner of two from three from box eight, including a blistering 29.60s effort around Wentworth Park in a Million Dollar Chase semi-final, Shima Shine occupies the fourth line of betting in TAB’s market at $5, behind Simon Told Helen ($3.30), Hard Style Rico ($3.90) and Who Told Stevie ($4).
“He will need to come out and burn early,” said Dailly.
“He just needs a little bit of room early but getting across from the pink at The Meadows against this class of dog won’t be easy.
“It’s an absolutely red-hot field. It’s chockful of good dogs like David Burnett’s two (Simon Told Helen and Who Told Stevie) and Glenn Rounds’ dog off the red (Aston Wizard).
“It’s a very hard race but he’ll be spot on on Saturday and we’ll see what happens.”