By Ray Hickson
It's an ominous sign that trainer John Sargent says promising mare High Shine will only be better suited out to a mile at Warwick Farm on Wednesday than in her two easy wins this preparation.
High Shine arrived at Sargent’s stable with a maiden win over 1600m in New Zealand to her name but has been dynamic with successive 1300m wins at Warwick Farm and Scone.
Sargent’s mission with the four-year-old is to snare a stakes win or two, something he’s adamant she’s more than up to, and if she runs to expectation in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1600m) she could end this preparation with a shot at a Listed or Group race.
“I won’t give her too many starts this campaign but if she happened to go well I might look for a bit of black type,’’ Sargent said.
“Ultimately that is what we are looking for and that’s why she came over.
“She’s onwards and upwards and I’ve been waiting to get her out over a trip. This should suit her nicely.’’
High Shine surprised Sargent a little with her first-up win, thinking 1300m might be a touch short, but she was similarly explosive over the same trip at Scone.
High Shine wins at Scone on May 10
Sargent has been marking time with her to allow James McDonald to continue his association and has changed her training to accommodate the extra distance.
“She’s a very good trackworker and as soon as she came over from New Zealand she showed she has something there,’’ he said.
“She was quite explosive (first-up) and showed she came over in good order, then carried on at Scone and now we’re up to a distance that might suit her. She’s bred to get over 2000m and more.
“I’ve just following where James McDonald can ride her because he gets on so well with her.’’
Punter’s Intelligence sectional data showed High Shine was strongest over the last 200m running 11.87, the only horse to break 12 seconds in the race, and a 34.64 last 200m.
She’s $2.60 favourite with TAB to make it three straight and Sargent is confident enough that she can.
“She should go through the grades and hopefully it will be a nice stepping stone to something else,’’ he said.
Sargent warned not to underestimate stablemate Come Along ($11) as he also steps out to a mile in the ANZ Bloodstock News Handicap (1600m).
The three-year-old was narrowly beaten over 1500m at Kembla Grange earlier this month and Sargent said it’s important the gelding gets some favours from his wide gate.
“He’s drawn wide so we’ll probably work out whether we go back and get a bit of cover,’’ he said.
“He needs cover because when he gets into the open he looks around a bit. I’ve been waiting to get him to a mile too, he’ll need a bit of luck from the draw but he is up to it.’’