By Ray Hickson
Black type targets will appear on the horizon for emerging stayer Just Shine if he continues to climb the ladder with another win at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Trainer Clare Cunningham is considering races like the Wyong and Newcastle Cups for the five-year-old but it’s up to the horse to earn his way there.
Just Shine shoots for six wins from his last eight starts in the Destiny’s Kiss Special Achievement Handicap (2000m) where he’s second favourite with TAB at $4.80.
“We’re working through the grades and letting him tell us how good he is,’’ Cunningham said.
“He doesn’t give us much of an impression at home but every time he goes out once he gets over these distances he’s been able to step up.
“Eventually he’ll hit his limit but at the moment I think he will work through the benchmarks all right.’’
Just Shine wins second-up at Randwick on July 7
The Listed $160,000 Wyong Gold Cup (2100m) is run on August 31 and the Group 3 $200,000 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) two weeks later.
“If he’s good enough he’ll head there,’’ Cunningham said.
“There’s a couple of handy horses in (Saturday’s race) it that will test him out.
“He’ll enjoy the extra distance, I’m happy with how he is in himself so we’ll keep getting a line on him and let him do the talking.
“He’s drawn a good gate and has a good jockey and we’ll see if he’s good enough.’’
Punters Intel data shows Just Shine ran the fastest last 400m in 24.41 when he scored over 1800m second-up at Randwick on a soft 7 track, downing Carzoff who opposes him again on Saturday while third placed Curragh has since won at Warwick Farm.
Cunningham is adamant he’s just as good on firmer tracks given the rating last start was the softest surface he’s won on.
“I’ve heard people say he’s a wet track horse but they’ve just what he’s run into when he’s raced,’’ she said.
“I don’t know if there’ll be a better sprinter on the day on top of the ground but we don’t see him as a wet tracker.’’
Meanwhile, Cunningham reported her exciting sprinter Cradle Mountain has returned to her stable following an injury sustained in his shock defeat at the Scone carnival in May.
The rising five-year-old, a winner of four of his seven starts including a track record at Kembla Grange, is unlikely to be ready until the summer as his recovery needs time.
“He did a bad hamstring so we’re just taking it very slowly with him,’’ Cunningham said.
“It’s all going well at the moment, he should get back eventually, I just have to be patient.’’