Dual Group 1 winner Shima Shine smashed his country cups hoodoo to smithereens when sensationally coming from last to career away with the Group 2 CHS Group Horsham Cup Final (485m) on Saturday night.
It was Andrea Dailly’s superstar’s fourth appearance in a country cup final, having started favourite in the Bendigo (3rd), Warragul (3rd) and Geelong (4th) Cups.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to bits because this dog has promised us so much and he can certainly deliver on occasions,” said David Gleeson, who bred and races Shima Shine with great friend Bob Cummings.
“He’s just the most fantastic dog, he gives his all and his turn of foot is just remarkable.”
A superbly bred son of Barcia Bale and 2016 Geelong Cup winner Shima Song, Shima Shine dominated betting, starting at $1.60 after breaking the course record in the heats, clocking 26.79s to eclipse 2019 Horsham Cup hero Orson Allen’s previous benchmark of 26.87s.
Team Dailly, which won the Horsham Cup in 2012 with Dyna Tron, supplied half the field, with recent Cranbourne Cup victor Jax Bale the $4.40 second elect from box one, while Fabriola Zad ($41) and Aston Cade ($48) were both outsiders.
A generous Shima Shine gave his rivals a head start, with a poor getaway from box seven, but he recovered in the blink of an eye, showcasing blistering acceleration to whip around the field and take the lead.
“He’s got enormous pace and he deserves a country cup because he’s just a very good dog.”
Shima Shine powered clear in the straight, defeating dead-heaters Jax Bale and Barooga Smoke ($28.80), trained by Brett Nye, by 3.7 lengths in 26.90s, improving his perfect Horsham record to three from three.
“He did it hard tonight, he came out a bit ordinary and had to hunt around them but he’s got enormous pace and he deserves a country cup because he’s just a very good dog,” co-trainer Tom Dailly told Simone Fisher at the presentation.
“I was a bit surprised Fabriola Zad beat him out and he had to hook around him.
“He didn’t get out as well this week and by the time he got clear it cost him a few lengths but he got the job done in the end and that’s the main thing.”
Shima Shine has now won 32 races from 52 starts and earned more than $618,000 in prize money.
WATCH: SHIMA SHINE (7) showed incredible acceleration after the first 40 metres to score a blistering last-to-first win in the $67,000 G2 Horsham Cup over JAX BALE (1) and BAROOGA SMOKE (5), who dead-heated for 2nd place.
Dailly said Shima Shine’s next feature target will be Group 1 Golden Easter Egg in Sydney.
The Cup Consolation went to Gotham Duke in a near-record 26.89s, continuing Sean and Melanie Lithgow’s fantastic run with their Walk Hard – Gotham Queen litter.
Gotham Duke’s litter brother Dream Wizard later finished second to Jason Thompson’s Memphis Keeping in 27.08s in the Jan Wilson Memorial (485m).
Braemar Prince, trained by Mark Strahan, claimed his 10th win from 14 starts when taking out the Sylvia Penny Memorial (410m) in 22.95s, while Angela Langton prepared the quinella in the GRV Vic Bred Maiden Final (410m) with Weblec Blazer defeating Plan Ahead in 23.34s.
Photos by Clint Anderson
The Horsham Cup is the first leg of greyhound racing’s inaugural Western Festival of Racing, incorporating four country cups and more than $700,000 in prize money.
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