Horse Racing News: Great White Shark ready to strike second-up

The Clarendon Stakes at Hawkesbury is a race Chris Waller often targets with his later-maturing juveniles, usually with one eye on the winter carnival features in Brisbane.

Zoustar won it at his second start in 2013, going on to claim the Sires’ Produce Stakes in Queensland and finish runner-up in the J J Atkins before eventually retiring to the stallion barn as a dual Group 1 winner.

Waller has followed an uncannily similar route with Great White Shark this year, who like Zoustar made his debut over 1100m at Canterbury on April 17.

While Zoustar won his first start, Great White Shark finished fourth, but Waller’s assistant trainer Charlie Duckworth warned the young colt had plenty more to offer.

“He was quite sleepy and docile at the start of his campaign and he was actually due to go to the paddock at least four weeks ago because he was that way mentally,” Duckworth said.

“But every time we gave him a slightly harder gallop or a jump out or took him to the trials, he just raised the bar for himself.

“It’s the same for his race start. I think you’ll see a massive jump out of the ground from his first start to his second start. He is a really talented prospect.”

An $8 chance in early markets, Great White Shark will be partnered by James McDonald and a trip to Queensland beckons if the two-year-old performs to expectations.

Duckworth is also upbeat about the prospects of stablemate Canara, who has been a work in progress since finishing runner-up to Spywire at her first start in November.

Kerrin Mcevoy partnered her on debut and felt she was worthy of a Magic Millions campaign, but Waller opted to take a more conservative path.

The filly was spelled after placing behind Storm Boy in December and arrives at the Clarendon Stakes (1400m) third-up.

“When you’re getting those comments from top jockeys, they’re not usually too far wrong,” Duckworth said.

“She is still slightly highly-strung, which has just meant that she is still a maiden.

“But she is drawn soft (barrier two) and 1400 is a step in the right direction. She has relaxed well enough now to do that, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her fight out the finish.”

Imperial Force, who defeated Great White Shark on debut and is an $8 betting app chance in early J J Atkins markets, was nominated for the Hawkesbury race but wasn’t among the acceptances.

Duckworth confirmed he would instead run a week later in either the Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m), which has been moved from the Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast, or in a two-year-old race at the stand-alone Gosford meeting.

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