Trainer Desleigh Forster predicted better
things ahead for mighty midget Shafeeq following the gelding's plunge win at
Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Sensationally backed from $16 into $7,
Shafeeq held off the fast finishing Sydney sprinter Latin News to score by 1-1/4
lengths the Retailquip Open Handicap (1000m).
Early leader Carry To Fortune finished
third, only a short head away.
Shafeeq was having only his sixth start for
Forster after being transferred from trainer Matt Tremble's stables last year.
The five-year-old son of Refuse To Bend landed
his second win under Forster's care and took his record to six wins from 14
"He's only a midget but what you see is
what you get with him," Forster said.
"He's a real speed horse and never gives
"Unfortunately he's not a Magic
Millions horse so I'll give him a break now.
"I'd like to be proven wrong but I doubt
he'll be back in time for the summer sprints but I think he'll make an even
nicer handicap horse next campaign."
Forster praised apprentice Kirk Matheson and
work rider Shaun Cooper after Shafeeq's victory.
"He’s been very consistent. He carried
59 one day and he just couldn’t go at all and we decided to put him in races
where he doesn’t carry any weight," Forster said.
"Young Kirk (Matheson) rode him a
treat. He never panicked. He rode him great.
"Shaun (Cooper) rides him all his work
and he's done a great job as he can be a very hard horse to handle."
Matheson was always confident Shafeeq would
haul in the leaders after the sprinter travelled smoothly in behind Carry To
Fortune who set a solid tempo.
"We got into a beautiful spot. I just sort of tacked onto Tegan’s mount
(Carry To Fortune) and then trucked out off its heels and he let down really nice,"
"I think the claim helped.
He got the three off his back and that certainly made it easier for him."
Forster revealed her decision to run Shafeeq
in open company was prompted by the weight he would have received in a Benchmark race.
"I was going to run him in another race
but he would have got a lot more weight. I started him once with 59 kilograms
and his run was pretty ordinary," she said.
had better form than a lot of his opposition in this race and with the claim he
got in really well.
"I think a lot of the owners had something
on him. He's come a long way in the one preparation I've had him for."
Racing Queensland webnews September 2
Photo: Trackside Photography