IN Racing
Hezashocka too good in Premier’s Cup
“He loves soft ground and he’s going great. There’s a big group of owners here today, so I’m delighted for them.”
NZ Racing Desk | June 01, 2024
Hezashocka was at his winning best taking out the Gr.3 Premier’s Cup at Eagle Farm. Photo: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography

Hezashocka has proven himself in far stronger company than Saturday’s Gr.3 Living Turf Premier’s Cup (2400m), and that big-race quality shone through with a comfortable victory at Eagle Farm.

Although last month’s Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2200m) was his first win since 2022, Hezashocka has made his presence felt right up to the highest level. He has placed in the Gr.1 Champions Stakes (2000m), Gr.3 JRA Plate (2000m) and Listed Mornington Cup (2400m), along with a fourth in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and fifth in the Gr.1 Australian Cup (2000m). He was a close last-start seventh in the Gr.1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 25.

The son of Shocking stepped down in class and up in distance on Saturday, and he produced a performance befitting his $2.25 favouritism.

Jockey Jamie Kah took up a perfect position in fifth, one off the rail, then began to move closer coming down the side of the Eagle Farm track.

Kah pushed the button at the home turn and Hezashocka bounded past Goldman to take the lead. Alegron gave his all and chased bravely down the straight, but Hezashocka maintained a comfortable advantage and won by a length and a half. Goldman crossed the line in third, six lengths adrift of the first pair.

“What a ride by Jamie,” said Michael Kent Jr, who trains in partnership with Mick Price. “She said before the race that she was going to be fifth and one off the rail – there you go. He was always travelling like the winner.

“He won the Gosford Cup and we had a plan to come here as our next target. We thought we’d give him a spin around in the Doomben Cup for a run, and he went super in that race.

“He loves soft ground and he’s going great. There’s a big group of owners here today, so I’m delighted for them.”

The stable will now consider a tilt at the A$1.2 million Gr.2 The Q22 (2200m) at the same venue on June 15.

“The Q22 might appeal as an obvious target,” Kent said. “When this horse finds form, he usually holds it. We lost him for a while this season on firm tracks, but he’s thriving at the moment. For $1.2 million, why wouldn’t you go there?”

Hezashocka began his career with Shaun and Emma Clotworthy and won the Gr.2 Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie before OTI Racing bought into the horse. Emma Clotworthy and Keith Haub have retained a share of the ownership along with the Australian syndicate.

Originally purchased at Karaka for $18,000 out of the draft of Grangewilliam Stud, Hezashocka has now won five of his 32 starts with a further eight placings and A$1,376,203 in prize-money. 

Hezashocka OTI Racing Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr Grangewilliam Stud Shaun and Emma Clotworthy Gosford Cup Jamie Kah Shocking Gr.3 Premier's Cup