Two years after Kilowatt claimed the Listed Positive Signs + Print Dunedin Gold Cup (2400m), Shockallia emulated that performance in carrying the same green and white silks to victory on Saturday at Wingatui.
Kilowatt, a former North Island-based galloper that entered Kelvin Tyler’s Riverton stable in 2017 had shone on the Southern cup’s circuit over several seasons, headed by his Gold Cup success in 2022.
The Shocking gelding was retired after a career that earned breeders John & Colleen Thompson near $270,000 in stakes, and their promising stayer Shockallia, also a son of former Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Shocking, was sent to Tyler as a replacement after doing his early racing from the stable of Shaune Ritchie & Colm Murray in Cambridge.
Shockallia produced two creditable performances in his first two starts for Tyler, before a last-start win at Gore put the writing on the wall ahead of the Wingatui feature, where he started a $6.30 TAB second-favourite behind local runner Capo Dell Impero ($3.20).
Jumping from the ace draw, the six-year-old was settled quietly back in the field under Jasmine Fawcett, with pacemaker Kahma Suitsya controlling a solid early tempo, soon taken over by an eager The Tui Toiler.
Fawcett remained patient at the tail before making her move at the 800m, seemingly cantering around the outer of the field to take over before the gelding displayed his staying quality as he prevailed in a tight battle to the post with third-placed runner Noble Knight, who was gathered in late by a rapidly-closing Elegant Lady near the finish line.
“I know he’s a tough horse, but it was whether he was rock hard fit, although the horse certainly thought so,” Tyler said post-race.
“I was a bit worried stepping up to 2400m on this sort of track (Soft7), but I told Jasmine to ride him patiently and do nothing, get into the race about the 600m and look after him as much as she could. He’s a good horse.”
Tyler indicated Shockallia’s next target would be the Open 2600m event at Ascot Park in a fortnight.
“I think we’ll have too head there. He’s come down here a good horse, it’s pretty exciting going forward,” he said.
Shockallia has now earned over $133,000 in stakes for Rich Hill principal Thompson and wife Colleen, who race the gelding alongside the Carriers Arms Racing Syndicate.
“John & Colleen sent him down, and I really thank them. He was a replacement for Kilowatt who was another great horse, so this was a big thrill,” Tyler said.
Northern-based Fawcett has enjoyed a myriad of southern success recently, adding the Wingatui feature to her Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) winning ride aboard Tyler’s filly Aberlour a fortnight ago.
“I had a good feeling about this horse, being a Shocking I knew he’d love the distance and the ground, and that just showed today,” she said.
“Mr Tyler told me that he wasn’t sure if he would be fit enough, but he definitely was. He was finding the line really strong.”