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Shiraz will make his Queensland debut in the Eye Liner Stakes
Image: Steve Hart

A rain-affected track track at Ipswich holds no concerns for trainer Kim Waugh when quality sprinter Shiraz makes his Queensland debut in the Eye Liner Stakes.

The Group One placegetter adds class to the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) which has overtaken the Cup as the main race on Ipswich’s only Saturday metropolitan meeting of the year.

Rain has drenched the area in the past few days with the track rated heavy on Wednesday.

Shiraz has won both his starts on heavy tracks and is a dual winner on soft going.

“On his record a wet track should be no worry,” Waugh said.

The Wyong-based Waugh has been a regular visitor to Queensland over the years but Shiraz will be her first Ipswich runner.

“I have had a good bit of luck up north and my best win was with Mahtoum in the (2006) P J O’Shea Stakes at Eagle Farm,” Waugh said.

Now a seven-year-old, Shiraz did his early racing in country NSW for trainer Peter Nestor and won at tracks such as Wellington, Dubbo and Scone.

He was later taken over by Tony McEvoy who steered him to stakes class in mid-2015 when he won the Group Three Aurie’s Star Stakes at Flemington and the Group Three Concorde Stakes at Randwick.

He was also third in The Shorts behind Group One star Rebel Dane.

Shiraz returned in the autumn of 2016 to run second behind Griante in the Group One Galaxy at Rosehill.

The gelding was tried in that year’s spring but struggled with anti-clockwise racing at Caulfield and Moonee Valley.

When McEvoy closed his Hawkesbury stable last year he recommended Shiraz go to Waugh who has a farm on the NSW Central Coast.

Shiraz was spelled after finishing ninth behind Winx in the Apollo Stakes in February and was a close-up fifth in a handicap at Rosehill two weeks ago.

“He has settled in well with us but we are taking our time with him,” Waugh said.

“He won a trial nicely at Wyong before his first-up run which was handy.

“The Eye Liner is the right type of race for him at this stage.

“Shiraz will go up on Thursday night which gives him time to settle in. He will come back Sunday night but might go back again for Glasshouse Mountains race a fortnight later at Caloundra.”

 
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