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Shiraz has continued his rise through the sprinting ranks, claiming his second Group Three win in two starts in the Concorde Stakes at Randwick.

He came back in distance to Saturday’s 1000m race four weeks after winning the Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.

Despite his record of three wins from three campaign starts leading into the Concorde, Shiraz was at $4.40 with punters staying loyal to Ball Of Muscle ($2.20).

The Joe Pride-trained Ball Of Muscle seemed about to justify his favouritism but was collared late by Shiraz who won by a neck.

Shiraz’s trainer Tony McEvoy said the five-year-old ran a fantastic race and was ideally suited for the Shorts.

“I think he showed today he loves time in between his runs but now we’re playing in the big game, you’ve got to go where the races are,” McEvoy said.

“The Shorts is 1100 metres, because he needs that sort of tempo on, he loves that tempo and then he gets into it, and toughs it out.

“I haven’t looked any further ahead than the Shorts because that would be his fifth run in. It’s a big prep.”

Jockey Hugh Bowman said Shiraz was in superb condition and had a fitness edge on the competition.

“He’s a tough horse and anyone that watched his Flemington win would have saw that,” he said.

“He was there to be beaten for a long way, and in the end he won with authority.”

Ball Of Muscle’s stablemate Craftiness finished third, just ahead of Aeronautical whose career in Australia is now over after he was found to have bled for a second time.

 
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