Voak Opts for Queen Shenandoah

Star reinsman Chris Voak has driven Ultimate Offer to stylish victories at the five-year-old’s past two starts, but he has made the difficult decision to handle Queen Shenandoah, a mare who has been unplaced at her past five starts, in preference to sticking with Ultimate Offer in the 2130m Retravision 60 Day Price Promise Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“It was painful to get off Ultimate Offer, but he has drawn the outside barrier (No. 9) and Queen Shenandoah will start from the No. 1 barrier,” Voak explained.

“There doesn’t appear to be much gate speed in the race, and I think Queen Shenandoah will lead. Comparing barriers one and nine is just the biggest leveller. Queen Shenandoah gets her chance this week. Barring a 36sec. lead time, I think she gets her chance to control the race and make the last 1200 metres the quickest.”

Queen Shenandoah, trained by Ross Olivieri, started from the outside (barrier No. 9) in a 2130m event last Friday night and was restrained back to last in the field of twelve. She finished strongly from eleventh at the bell and sustained a three-wide burst to finish a solid sixth, out six wide, behind Our Rhythm N Blues.

The previous week Queen Shenandoah set the pace, but was pressurised by Arma Indie in a fast-run lead time of 36.2sec. and then, after an opening quarter of 31.2sec., dashed over the following sections in 28.7sec., 28.7sec. and 27.7sec. before wilting to fourth behind Mandy Joan, who rated a slick 1.55.2.

Boyanup trainer Dennis Roche has engaged Nathan Turvey to drive Ultimate Offer in an event in which Our Rhythm N Blues is sure to prove hard to beat from a favourable draw at barrier two on the back line.

Voak said that he expected a strong showing from the Michael Brennan-trained Sangue Reale in the Retravision Lowest Price Guarantee Pace. “He gets his chance,” Voak said. “I think he will be able to get to the lead from barrier two and prove hard to beat.

“I respect Machs Gold, who has enjoyed a good run on the pegs before finishing fast to win at his past two starts. He’s a good sit and sprint horse.”