“When we first got him we gave him a couple of spins around The Meadows because he hadn’t been there, and he went alright. But when he went 29.85sec there at his first start for us, we went ‘What’s this!’
“In that race, Aussie Rocks (G1 National Sprint runner-up) was $1.50 favourite, but Afire went straight past him.”
The winner of nine of his 28 starts, Afire will make his first interstate appearance in Thursday’s Megastar heats, while Sharp will also be entering uncharted territory at the iconic NSW circuit.
“I’ve never raced at Dapto before; they tell me it’s pretty narrow,” Sharp said.
“If you run top three in the final at Dapto, you qualify for the semi-finals of the Million Dollar Chase, so we decided to go there.
“They’ve given the Victorians the visitor’s boxes, but I don’t mind Afire drawing out, especially when he hasn’t had a look.
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“He does handle wide draws and I think the six (Remember This) and seven (Matter Of Fact) will carve across and hopefully they’ll bring him over. He’s no slouch either.
“I don’t think the travelling will worry him – not a lot bothers him. It just depends on if he handles the boxes.”
Four Victorians will line up in the Megastar heats.
Jason Thompson has two contenders; Umberto (heat 2, box 8 – $2.45F) and Stealth (heat 4, box 5 – $6.50), which will both be advantaged around Dapto by their early speed.
The Dailly kennel has sent 2022 G1 Silver Chief winner Zippy Tesla (heat 4, box 7 – $7) to astute NSW trainer Shayne Stiff for the Megastar after the recently-turned four-year-old claimed back-to-back wins at The Meadows on Saturday.