Day At The Track

Shardonant gets up in close finish

12:12 PM 12 Jun 2018 NZST
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Shardonant,Harness racing
Shardonant

Longtime harness enthusiast Don Lee is glad he changed his mind when attending the 2017 South Australian yearling sales.

“I looked at the catalogue and liked one of the lots offered by Peter Olds, but on sale day, changed my mind when I saw an All Speed Hanover colt,” Lee said.

“I had to go to $7000 but picked him up.

“I got my daughter Sharon and her partner Anthony Duffy to join me in the ownership and hence the name Shardonant.”

At Globe Derby on Saturday, Shardonant came from last to win the $15,000 2018 SA BOTRA Sales Graduate Classic final (1800m).

Trained and driven by Michael Norman, the two-year-old, a $9.60 chance, scored a thrilling short half head win over the heavily backed Jenesaisquoi ($2.70) with Scenic Rise ($6.20), 2-1/2 metres away third.

Shardonant put up a big performance to win giving away a start of about 50 metres to Jenesaisquoi with 1200 metres to travel.

Driver Wayne Hill sent the Jill Neilson-trained Jenesaisquoi forward from gate four and had an early battle before securing the lead from Cheddars Treasure which pushed through from gate one.

Hill was confident in his two-year-old’s ability and recorded a 62.8 first half of the last mile and Norman, who had come from gate six, went back to last but had no help with any runners carrying him up to the leader.

Norman pulled Shardonant wide with 600 metres to travel and the gelding improved quickly to catch up to the leader coming off the back after a 30.1 second third quarter and drew level with Jenesaisquoi on straightening and the pair staged a two-horse dual up the home straight.

“He’s a nice horse,” Norman said. “He has a good turn of pace and I’m sure with age he will get stronger.

“He took himself up to the leader when I came wide down the back straight and at the 400 metre mark I thought he could win as the leader was under pressure. However, it was battle up the straight and he was in for the fight.”

Norman said he would give Shardonant an easy time before preparing him for the Southern Cross series in July.

Lee praised the trainer and his family.

“We gave Michael the horse to break in and decided to leave it with him. Michael, Vicki and Kristen have done a wonderful job and tonight is reward for all their hard work.”


Graham Fischer

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