Classy sprinter Shima Breeze put the disappointment of being scratched from the Group 1 Sapphire heats behind her with a near-record victory at Horsham on Tuesday afternoon.
Trained by in-form mentor Rob Camilleri, Shima Breeze sped over Horsham’s 410m course in 23.04s, just two lengths outside Time To Talk’s track record, priming the blueblood for a return to 525m at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Despite an interrupted build-up, Shima Breeze (box 4) is TAB’s $1.90 favourite to further enhance her imposing 20 from 43 record in race 7.
“She pulled up great after Horsham and that run will top her off for Saturday,” said Lara-based Camilleri, who with partner Deb Coleman is knocking up training winners in 2020.
“The last time she was at The Meadows (February 22) she ran a super race in the Australian Cup heats. She ran sensational sections and got beaten in a photo in 29.77s.
“The 410m at Horsham is more like a 450m and while it’s not a perfect preparation I expect her to go very well.”
WATCH: Shima Breeze’s win at Horsham from box 7.
Defeat by the narrowest of margins in her Australian Cup heat was followed by more feature race frustration for Shima Breeze and her connections when she was a race-night scratching from the heats of the Sapphire at Sandown Park earlier this month.
“You don’t get many chances in Group 1 races so it was really disappointing,” Camilleri said.
“What happened was that at her previous start at Bendigo she got galloped on and spiked her toe. It scabbed over but the scab came off in the kennels and she was scratched.
“I’m not saying she would have beaten Black Opium that night but the way she was boxed (two) she would have qualified for the final.
“She’s such a gusty little dog. Her owners will tell you that she’s been to hell and back and she’s had a tough time since she got to us late last year.
“She missed most of last year and the owners weren’t sure if she would race again but she’s come back like a Trojan. She’s won five of her 11 starts for us and went 29.16s at Sandown and wasn’t far off the record at Warrnambool either (24.83s).”
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