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US Debut This Sunday For Aust Star Scenic Blast

Wednesday, 23rd June 2010

US Hall-Of-Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Australia's multiple Gr1-winning 4YO gelding & 2008-09 Australian Horse-Of-The-Year Scenic Blast (Scenic-Daughter's Charm, by Delgado) when he makes his North American debut in the Robert Kerlan Memorial Handicap (6 furlongs) at Hollywood Park in California on Sunday (Monday morning Australian time) for trainer John Shirreffs. Managing owner Ellio Galante recently told The West Australian that Shirreffs "is aiming Scenic Blast at the US$1.2 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (5 furlongs) on November 6". During 2009 Scenic Blast (an $85,000 yearling at the 2006 Magic Millions Perth Premier Sale) won both Australia's Gr1 Crown Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington & Gr1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington, plus the UK Gr1 King's Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) at Royal Ascot; he then contested the last 2 legs of the 2009 Global Sprint Championship in Japan (October) & Hong Kong (December), but suffered a bleeding attack during the Gr1 HK International Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin. The owners then sent him to Shirreffs in California, where the racing rules allow treatment with Lasix (which reduces the effects of bleeding in the lungs). Scenic Blast was given 2 months in the spelling paddock on his arrival in the US last January (to allow recovery from his Northern Hemisphere trip) before beginning work at the Shirreffs stable at Hollywood Park.

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