Shamrock Boy Makes His Mark In The West

THEY say a change is as good as a holiday - an expression WA trainer Steve Shinners says is ringing true for exciting distance prospect Shamrock Boy.

Adam Dobbin

22 February 2021

THEY say a change is as good as a holiday – an expression WA trainer Steve Shinners says is ringing true for exciting distance prospect Shamrock Boy.

On Saturday night at Cannington the former Victorian made it two wins from three appearances over 600 metres since heading west, Shinners purchasing the talented yet hard to catch chaser on the recommendation of good friend Kel Greenough.  

“Kel mentioned to me one day that he thought he would be a good fit for me over here so I made his owner Greg Schofield an offer and managed to buy him,” Shinners said.

“He was reasonably priced and I had actually paid for him before he had his last start for Greg at Sandown.

“I was out at dinner watching and he dropped right out in a 715 metre race. I was thinking ‘what have I done here’, but then he got going late and finished third, only beaten a couple of lengths.”

Since shifting over to the west, Shamrock Boy, a son of Allen Deed and Love To Rock, making him a close relation to Group 1 star My Bro Fabio, has hardly missed a beat.

His debut performance at Cannington produced a last to first 600 metre victory in 35.40 before finishing third to powerhouse stayer in the making Casus Belli in a 647 metre event at Mandurah.

Then on Saturday night, returning to Cannington, Shamrock Boy landed another 600 metre victory, this time in 35 seconds neat.

“He had to do it the hard way from back in the pack but he went very close to leading – he’s still feeling his way,” Shinner said.

“I’ve got no doubt he can run 34.60 with the right run. He’s heading in the right direction. He’s got a different personality but is settling in great. At home he just does his own thing.”

In Victoria, Shamrock Boy showed glimpses of ability including on Melbourne Cup night at Sandown last November in the $25,000-to-the-winner Provincial Plate (515m).

Gaining a run as a reserve, the well-related chaser made the most of the opportunity, scoring in 29.41.

Now on the cusp of 50 starts, Shinners is hopeful that a re-energised Shamrock Boy can continue his ascension through the grades with an ambitious tilt at the Group 1 Galaxy (715m) in April a distinct possibility.

“I won’t know how genuine of a stayer he is until I get him up over the 715 metres,” Shinners said.

Boasting a winning strike-rate upwards of 30 percent, Shinners continues to enjoy a fantastic run with his boutique kennel, churning out winner after winner.

“Last October (wife) Krystal and I moved to seven acres at Jarrahdale,” Shinners said.

“It really is picturesque and the dogs love it as much as we do. We’re half an hour away from both Cannington and Mandurah – it’s perfect.”

Shamrock Boy’s new lease of life is bringing plenty of joy to a number of owners which have bought into the veteran chaser on the endorsement of astute WA form student Callum Robson.

“I think Callum’s in almost every dog I have here,” Shinners said.

“He’s organised quite a few first time owners into the dog which is fantastic – they’re having plenty of fun which is what it’s all about.

“We’re just in the process of finalizing all the paperwork for the syndicate now.”

And while Shamrock Boy is on a Group 1 Galaxy path Shinners has declared his dual track record holder Canya Cruise will be given a chance to stretch out to the 520 metres for the Group 1 Perth Cup.

“We’ve just bought him from Terry Hines and hopefully he can measure up over 500,” Shinners said.

“I had so many people wanting to buy into him I got left with only 7.5 percent.”

Winner at 18 of his 34 starts, including track record runs at Albion Park and Mandurah, Canya Cruise had five 520m starts at Ipswich to begin his career before racing exclusively over the sprint trips.

Last year Shinners guided Buster The Brute to a third placed finish in the Perth Cup won by retired Australian Greyhound Of The Year Simon Told Helen.