Shamal strikes21 Jul 2019

A small field of five runners did battle in the $20,000 Win the Group 2 Waikato Guineas Steeplechase (3900m) and it was Waikato Steeplechase winner Shamal who took the honours.

Punters sent out impressive last start winner It’s A Wonder favourite, with topweight Shamal carrying a deserved notable amount more than his race rivals.

It’s A Wonder set a solid tempo for most of the event until down the back straight for the final time, Shamal with Buddy Lammas aboard, coasted up the pacesetter and without difficulty careered away to record a two and a quarter length win over It’s A Wonder (S.Phelan) with The Arabian Duke (G.Walsh) one and three quarters of a length back in third.

“I was a bit worried down the back straight but when we hit the steeplechase course he was better and travelled nicely,” Buddy Lammas said.
“It was a bit of weight but he’s a big horse and can handle it.”
“Hopefully we can defend the Grand National,” Lammas added.

Shamal’s winning time was 4:34.21

“Huge relief winning so easily today,” Ken Duncan said.
“He’s always been a day to day prospect and I hoped I had him right today and he showed his true class.”
“He was giving them plenty at the 1000m mark but he hit another gear.”
“Defending the Grand National has always been the number one target this season, so we’ll do all that we can to get there.”

It was Shamal’s eighth career win from 43 starts earning nearly $195,000 for owners Faith Taylor, J G, J M & D Mck Duncan, M J Linklater, A R Hurley & Ken Duncan.