Star five-year-old Shockwave enhanced his reputation with another superb victory at Gloucester Park on Sunday night, and trainer Ryan Bell is still enthusiastic about taking the stallion to Melbourne to contest the $300,000 Victoria Cup at Melton in October.
“I think he proved tonight that we should go over for the Victoria Cup,” said Bell. “I have just had a discussion with (managing part-owner) Kevin Jeavons to see whether we can get to Melbourne. We are definitely going to ring the airlines this week to see if we can arrange a trip.
“If we have to get there earlier than originally planned, so be it. There are a couple of suitable lead-up races — the Shepparton Cup, the Smoken Up Sprint and the Kilmore Cup.”
While Bell was excited with Shockwave’s tremendous effort to win the 2130m Direct Trades Supply Free-For-All, he also lavished praise on reinsman Aiden de Campo, saying: “His drive was sensational. Before the race he realised he could be in a sticky situation, particularly if Mighty Conqueror went to the front.
“I love the way Aiden has got real faith in the horse; he probably has more faith in him than I do, mainly because I’m a bit of a nervous type when it comes to this horse. At the 500m it was do or die for Aiden; he had to do something to beat Mighty Conqueror, and that was to level up with him and make it a staying test.
“His drive was unreal, and Dylan Egerton-Green also drove a wonderful race with Mighty Conqueror. It is amazing how a small field can produce such a contest.
“Shockwave is a horse who does only what he has to. The fitter he gets the more arrogant he is, and he goes about things in a casual manner. Aiden said that he felt that Shockwave was going to put Mighty Conqueror away at the top of the straight — and then he just kept pricking his ears all the way up the straight.”
Shockwave was the $1.80 favourite from barrier five in the six-horse field, with Mighty Conqueror, from the No. 4 barrier, a solidly supported second fancy at $2.35.
To Fast To Serious ($9.50) led for the first 450m before Egerton-Green sent Mighty Conqueror to the front, with Shockwave settling down in fifth position. Shockwave started a three-wide move 1300m from home and then raced outside the pacemaker, with the final three quarters being run in 28.4sec., 27.5sec. and 27.6sec.
Mighty Conqueror and Shockwave were locked together over the final 400m, and Shockwave held a narrow lead in the home straight and went to the line with de Campo sitting quietly in the sulky.
Shockwave now has won at each of his three starts since resuming after a seven-month absence. He has raced 47 times for 19 wins, 17 placings and $514,803 in prizemoney.
Written by Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators