Talented juvenile filly Sophmaze (Derryn x Miss Isle) showed a touch of class when she out-finished her rivals with a determined late run to take out the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Waverley.
The Allan Sharrock-trained filly had broken her maiden status after two minor placings when successful at Trentham last month with Sharrock declaring then she was just the type of filly who would be suited to a race like the Castletown Stakes.
That statement proved prophetic as rider Lisa Allpress bided her time beyond midfield with Sophmaze before tracking into the race approaching the home turn.
Taken to the middle of the track Sophmaze unwound strongly to reel in Cambridge visitor Miss Nico Belle in the final 100m as she took victory by a clear length and a half with Channel Surfer battling on courageously for third.
Sharrock had been confident of a good showing during the week and he got just what he was looking for.
“I said during the week I hadn’t seen a filly improve as much as she has since that Trentham win,” he said.
“She was suffering with her shins for her first two starts but she was right at Trentham and today she has taken another big step in good style.
“She came from quite a tricky position in running to dash away from them so there is plenty to look forward to with her.”
Sharrock believes a week in the paddock will do the filly the world of good before he looks at the final juvenile feature for the season, the Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Otaki on July 30.
“She can have a week off now and then we will get her ready for the Ryder Stakes,” he said.
“She is such a versatile customer and she handles most track conditions so I think she can feature in some of those early three-year-old races in the spring.
“She will definitely get up to a mile as a three-year-old so a race like the Eulogy Stakes (Gr.3, 1600m) later in the year is also a target we will look at.”
The win at Trentham had seen Sophmaze register the first win for Grangewilliam Stud stallion Derryn and she has now provided the Gr.2 Arrowfield Stakes (1200m) winner with his first stakes winner from his first crop to the racetrack.
She is 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 and was purchased by Sharrock for $50,000 from the Grangewilliam Stud Book 2 draft at Karaka in 2021.
Sharrock made it a winning double on the day when progressive mare Darci La Bella won fresh-up over 1200m one race later, before Justaskme tried hard but had to settle for the runner-up position behind Amusez Moi in the Listed AGC Training Stakes (1650m), the second feature event on the card.
“Darci La Bella is a very classy mare although the race didn’t quite pan out how I thought it would,” Sharrock said.
“She got back last when I thought she might sit second or third, but once she got clear air, she sprinted up well and won nicely.
“We’re not going to do too much with her as she will have one more run then we will bring her back for the Foxbridge Plate (Gr.2, 1200m) at Te Rapa in August and then Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.3, 1400m) at Hawera after that, as getting black type with her is the main aim.
“I thought Justaskme was going good enough turning for home but the other horse got that break on him and he couldn’t run it down.” - NZ Racing Desk