Co-trainer Tom Dailly says the rain-enforced delay to the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg series (520m) at Wentworth Park has done absolutely no harm to superstar Shima Shine’s preparation for Saturday night’s rescheduled heats.
If anything, Dailly believes the extra week’s break and re-draw may have boosted Shima Shine’s prospects of handing the prolific Anakie kennel a third Easter Egg title, after winning the race with Grigorieva Bale in 2013 and Fernando Bale in 2015.
At $8.50 in TAB’s ‘All In’ market, Shima Shine sits on the second line of betting behind $7 favourite Flying Ricciardo and is the most fancied of the 22 Victorian-trained contenders.
The superbly bred son of Barcia Bale and Shima Song was originally drawn in box two for the heats but moved to the ‘blue’ alley following the redraw and he’s the $1.95 favourite in the seventh of 10 heats – Race 8 at 8.48pm.
Shima Shine hasn’t been seen in action since brilliantly winning the G2 Horsham Cup on March 6, while he hasn’t competed over ‘500m’ since the Australian Cup heats on February 20.
However, the light preparation shapes as a bonus, with Dailly pointing to Shima Shine’s record-smashing 25.19sec run in the Warragul Cup heats in January after six weeks on the sidelines.
“Being on the fresh side suits Shima Shine,” Dailly said.
“He was fresh as anything when he broke the Warragul record so that’s not a worry at all.
“I don’t mind boxes four and five at Wentworth Park, so I like where he’s drawn.
“All our Easter Egg runners trialled at Ballarat on Monday and Shima Shine went 24.78sec, so he’s ready to go.
“He’s no Fernando Bale out of the boxes so it just depends on what happens in the first 40 or 50 metres. He has brilliant speed once he hits the ground so he just needs to get out and not get crowded.”
Team Dailly’s other contenders are Shima Jake (Heat 1), Fabriola Zad (Heat 4), Aston Cade (Heat 8) and Faithy Bale (Heat 10).
Shima Shine is one of three Victorians marked as favourite in their heat.
Australian Cup runner-up Fernando Bluey, trained by Pearcedale teenager Kayla Cottrell, heads betting in Heat 6 at $2.25 from box six.
Last Saturday night’s Shepparton Cup runner-up Catch The Thief, trained by another two-time Easter Egg winner in Jason Thompson, is the joint $2.50 favourite in Heat two.
Other Victorians prominent in heat betting are Mr. Fix It, trained by Angela Langton, at $4 in heat five, and the Whelan family’s fairy tale Group 1 Silver Chief hero Lakeview Walter, a $4.60 chance in an open final qualifier, where Andrea Dailly’s Faithy Bale is at $5.50.
WATCH: Superstar Shima Shine (7) bombs the start but displays explosive acceleration to claim the G2 Horsham Cup.
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