WELL-BRED staying prospect Shima Sun delivered a career best performance when leading all-the-way to score a narrow yet courageous victory in the Tassie final of the National Distance Championship (720m) on Monday night.
For Richmond trainer Margaret Rossendell, she described the victory as one of her greatest training moments, mapping out the perfect program in the lead up to Monday’s qualifier.
“This victory goes alongside some of the most memorable wins I’ve had in racing,” Margaret offered.
Bacchant won the Hobart Thousand in 1990 for Margaret, her grandest victory in the sport.
“Rocky’s Agent won the Devonport Puppy Championship in 2009 and Magic Magnet won the Launceston Gold Collar in 1986, I’ve had plenty of handy dogs,” Margaret added.
Shima Sun signalled the start of his staying campaign with recent victory in the Greg Fahey Mid. Distance Championship, winning both his heat and final, giving connections plenty of confidence.
The 720-metre journey would be the true acid test for Shima Sun, finishing a gallant fourth in his heat behind Mahalo Miss before turning the tables every so narrowly in Monday’s final.
“It was a bit of trial and error to see how Shima Sun would handle the trip – he had good fitness under him and the win at Hobart before the heats was the run that topped it all off,” Margaret explained.
“I knew if he could draw wide it would suit him, when he drew box seven I was confident he could run up to his.”
Booking a trip to Brisbane for August 25’s National Distance Grand Final, Shima Sun denied Mahalo Miss a second Distance Grand Final berth by a nose on the line, running 42.76.
“It will be a first for me travelling away to race so I will need to put things in place soon, the plan will be to trial him at Albion Park over 520 and give the dog a really good look at the track.”