Sherwin full of excitement
23 October 2014
It’s been a ride Bruce Sherwin will never forget.
The Raffles Farm manager and racing manager for Malaysian businessman and thoroughbred breeder and owner Dato Yap Kim San will be trackside at Moonee Valley on Saturday, ideally to watch his greatest moment in racing.
Sherwin has already achieved much in racing.
He raced Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner Vapour Trail and shared in Group One star Shamrocker as well as rising to the top of the commentary ranks both in New Zealand and Macau.
But Sacred Falls has been the ride of a lifetime, one which could yet reach its pinnacle in Saturday’s $A3 million Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“It’s been amazing. Just the transition from a young horse that showed potential to getting to the elite level and winning at the elite level. It’s been an amazing ride,” Sherwin said.
Consideration was given to retiring the dual Gr.1 Doncaster Handicap winner in the autumn but after his fast-finishing second to Dundeel in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April, it was decided he would stay in training with Sydney trainer Chris Waller and target the Cox Plate.
Raffles has faith in Waller’s ability to peak the O’Reilly stallion for his target race, in Zac Purton’s ability to guide on a trouble-free path to victory and most of all in Sacred Falls’ ability and willingness to win.
“Everything has gone to plan. Judging by his win in the George Main Stakes two starts ago, we’re sure he’s improved again this preparation from the autumn,” Sherwin said.
“The 2000m is a little question mark but he’s in career-best form and he’s going to be right in it.”
Sacred Falls will spark massive celebrations at Waikato Stud, should he win on Saturday.
He was bred at the Matamata stud farm and the Chittick family have bought back into the stallion and have secured him for stud duties next year.
If successful he would join Savabeel and Ocean Park as Cox Plate winners on the Waikato Stud stallion roster.
“Wouldn’t that be terrific – and not just for Waikato Stud, but also for the New Zealand breeding industry,” Sherwin said.
“The Cox Plate is best weight-for-age race in Australasia and from a breeding perspective, it’s a far more valuable race to win than the Melbourne Cup.
“Sacred Falls is a true Kiwi horse. He’s Kiwi-bred and Kiwi-raced and he’s spent most of his life here. Tony Pike trained him early on and he spells here and goes to Tony for his pre-training before he joins Chris.”
Sherwin, who called the trials at Cambridge on Thursday and was booked to fly to Melbourne on Friday, said he would try to keep his mind on other things in the lead-up to the race.
“I’ll just keep busy and try not to think about it too much. There’s nothing more we can do.” – NZ Racing Desk.