Shamoline Warrior looks well placed to break through for his first race victory in eighteen months when he contests Saturdayâ€™s $125,000 Group 3 Easter Cup at Caulfield.
The talented Mark Kavanagh-trained stayer was infamously scratched on race morning as a $3 favourite for the 2009 Victoria Derby when found to be suffering from a lung infection. Shamoline Warrior was then given nearly a year off to recover before a pastern ligament tear cruelly cut short his 2010 spring campaign after just the one start.
After yet another long spell on the sidelines, Shamoline Warrior has not only returned from his setbacks in one piece, but put together four injury free runs. A large, gross son of Shamardal, the first few runs back over unsuitably short distances, simply helped to familiarise the horse with racing again as well as bringing his fitness back up to scratch.
At his fourth run back however, Shamoline Warrior showed he is back to somewhere near his very best with a terrific effort over 1800 metres at Caulfield. After settling a clear last, jockey Steven King made a lightning move at the 1000 metre mark circling the field to take the lead, a lead which Shamoline Warrior maintained well into the straight before eventually tiring into third.
The extra 200 metres of Saturdayâ€™s Easter Cup should prove ideal for Shamoline Warrior whose only previous try at 2000 metres was a comprehensive victory at this track in the Group 2 Norman Robinson Stakes.Â Â Talented apprentice Billy Egan takes the ride from barrier 1 and while it doesnâ€™t appear an ideal draw for a galloper that needs to get rolling early in his races, there does look to be sufficient speed on paper to ensure the race wonâ€™t simply turn into a sit and sprint.
His one slow track run in last yearâ€™s Liston Stakes shouldnâ€™t put you off the horse either, as he was both out the back over an unsuitable distance and more importantly checked at around the 600 when working into the race.
Notably Mark Kavanagh has had great success in the race with Maldivian taking out the 2007 Easter Cup en route to bigger and better things while the talented yet enigmatic Raffaello finished second behind Miss Maren in 2009. Trading at close to double figure odds in the early markets, Shamoline Warrior looks terrific value for backers on Saturday.
Written by Ben Asgari