IN Racing
Sophmaze ready for stakes challenge after Trentham victory
Promising two-year-old Sophmaze could tackle the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes at Wanganui next month.
NZ Racing Desk | May 22, 2022
Photo: Grant Matthew - Race Images

Promising two-year-old Sophmaze could tackle the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui next month after registering an impressive maiden victory at Trentham on Saturday.

The good-looking Allan Sharrock-trained youngster had been placed at her first two starts and the benefit of those raceday experiences shone through on the weekend as the filly by Grangewilliam Stud stallion Derryn registered the first victory for her sire with a game effort.

Rider Lisa Allpress let Sophmaze find her feet in the early running before angling for a rails run as the field made their way into the Trentham home straight.

Wearing blinkers for the first time, the filly kept a gun barrel straight line against the fence to outfinish placegetters Miss Nico Belle and Canufeelit, who both made their runs wide out.

Sharrock was pleased to see the improvement in his charge and believes she is well capable of tackling stakes company in the Wanganui juvenile feature at her next run.

“She is a nice filly, who had been battling a little bit of shin soreness in her first two runs,” he said.

“She is such a laidback individual that I wanted to spark her up a little, so we put the blinkers on this time and that worked out well.

“Lisa said the inside would be the place to be for the first race on the flat and she was proved right.

“It was a pretty gritty effort as she was all on her own down there with the other two wide out, so she had nothing to compete with but kept going very strongly to the line.”

Out of the Bachelor Duke mare Miss Isle, a half-sister to premier sprinter/miler Levante and capable stayer Doyenne, the dam of Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) winner Maven Belle, Sharrock is keen to see the filly bag some black-type to further enhance her future value.

“She is very well bred with horses like Levante and Maven Belle in her extended family, so if we can pick up some black type early on with her then it can only be good for her owners,” he said.

“I paid $50,000 for her out of Grangewilliam’s draft at Karaka last year and they have stayed in her ownership along with a couple of others including Jason Bull who is racing his first horse with me.

“It was a great thrill for everyone to get the win and I’m pleased for Mark (Corcoran) at Grangewilliam as Derryn is a young stallion trying to make his way for them.

“I have several by Derryn in my stable and I really like them.”

Sophmaze is from the first crop of Gr.2 Arrowfield Stakes (1200m) winner Derryn, a son of Hinchinbrook, who will stand at Grangewilliam for a fee of $5,000 + GST in the 2022 breeding season

Sharrock went within inches of a second win on the day when another Grangewilliam Stud graduate, Ladies Man, came up a nose short of victory in a rating 74 1400m contest.

The four-year-old son of Zed is a half-brother to Sharrock’s Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Ladies First and has his own 3200m target ahead of him next summer.

“He (Ladies Man) has all the talent in the world and probably should have won as he got just a little too far off them before putting in some giant strides late in the piece,” Sharrock said.

“We’re not going to do too much in the winter with him as I think he is a genuine Wellington Cup (Gr.3, 3200m) horse in the summer.

“He will probably have just one or two starts this time in, but where they are I don’t know at this stage.

“I have had the Winter Cup (Gr.3, 1600m) at Riccarton in the back of my mind, but I don’t have a clear plan just yet for him.” 

Sophmaze John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes Allan Sharrock Grangewilliam Stud Derryn Lisa Allpress Miss Nico Belle Canufeelit Bachelor Duke Miss Isle Levante Doyenne Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes Maven Belle Jason Bull Mark Corcoran Arrowfield Stakes Hinchinbrook Ladies Man Zed Auckland Cup Ladies First Wellington Cup Winter Cup