Well performed Kiwi stayer Charles Road is set to make his Australian debut at The Championships in Sydney. Placed in the Gr2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) on New Year's Day, Charles Road (Myboycharlie-Giant Mystique, by Giant's Causeway) won the Gr3 City of Auckland Cup (2400m) before finishing sixth in the Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at his most recent outing. He was less than 1.5 lengths from the winner Ladies First in the Ellerslie feature. "We were pleased with his performance and he's just had a bit of a quiet time since and a freshen-up has done him the world of good," said Andrew Scott, who prepares the 4YO with Lance O'Sullivan. "If he comes through the next couple of weeks well we're going to take him to Sydney. He'll run in the Chairman's and all going well into the Sydney Cup." The Gr2 Chairman's Handicap (2600m) will be run at Randwick on 7 April with the $2 million Gr1 Sydney Cup (3200m) a week later.
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, European Horse of the Year and 6 time-winning shuttle stallion Dylan Thomas (Danehill-Lagrion, by Dieses) celebrated a Gr1 triumph when 5YO mare Ladies First (Dylan Thomas-Just Polite, by Dehere) scored by 0.1-length for trainer Alan Sharrock in the $500,000 Auckland Cup (3200m) for 3YOs+, defeating 5YO gelding Five To Midnight & fellow 5YO mare Wildflower. "She was posted three wide around one bend and then two bends and I said she can't win," Sharrock revealed. "I'm rapt, but I did think she had got beaten on the line. I'm a bit shocked really – I thought she had run second. They all thought she was a wet-tracker, but her last three wins have been on firm tracks." Ladies First, an $8,000 bargain buy at the 2014 NZB National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, took her record to 9 wins (including last year's Gr3 Wanganui Cup) & 3 placings from just 16 starts for $480,760 earnings. Connections are now considering having a tilt at this year's Gr1 Melbourne Cup, however first she'll head to the paddock ahead of a possible start in the Gr1 Livamol Classic.
Allan Sharrock is predicting progressive staying mare Ladies First can graduate to Group One company in the future, reports NZ Racing Desk. “Long-term, the Auckland Cup will be the main aim and we’ll work back from there to see which races will be suitable for her,” the Taranaki trainer said. Ladies First (Dylan Thomas-Just Polite, by Dehere) has come a long way in a short time and following her easy 3.8 length win in the Listed Wanganui Cup she has been spelled at the property of owners Humphrey and Fiona O’Leary. The couple have already tasted Gr1 Auckland Cup success as part-owners of Who Shot Thebarman who was successful in 2014. “She’s got a rug on her back in a 25-acre paddock in the Whangaehu Valley,” said Sharrock, who was also a Cup winner in 2012 with Shez Sinsational. “I’d envisage her having a couple of months off and there are plenty of options for her, but I would love to give her one run right-handed at Ellerslie. That will give her a look around there before the Cup.” He added: “She’s a serious racehorse. She’s won six out of 10 starts and two at Listed level already.”
At Wanganui in New Zealand, European Horse of the Year and 6 time-winning shuttle stallion Dylan Thomas (Danehill-Lagrion, by Dieses) had further black-type success when 4YO mare Ladies First (Dylan Thomas-Just Polite, by Dehere) scored by 3.8-lengths for trainer Alan Sharrock in the NZ$50,000 Handicap Wanganui Cup (2040m) over 7YO gelding Zartan and 5YO gelding Pacorus. Backing up from her Rangitikei Gold Cup win two weeks prior, Ladies First improved her overall record to 6 wins and 2 placings from 9 starts for $119,125 earnings. She was an $8,000 bargain buy at the 2014 NZB National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale.
At Awapuni racecourse in New Zealand, European Horse of the Year & 6-time Gr1-winning shuttler Dylan Thomas (Danehill-Lagrion, by Diesis) added a black-type success when 4YO bay mare Ladies First (Dylan Thomas-Just Polite, by Dehere) earned some valuable black-type when saluting in the $50,000 Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup (1550m) for 3YO+, defeating Slimline & Zorrali. Purchased for just $8,000 at the 2014 NZB National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, Ladies First improved her record to 5 wins and 2 placings from 9 starts for $87,875 earnings. Ladies First will now chaser further stakes success. "She's a very tidy mare and the owners want to win the Wanganui Cup, she's strong at the end of a mile so the 2000 metres will hold no fears for her," trainer Allan Sharrock told NZ Racing Desk.