TODAY'S OAMARU (NZ) MEETING HAS BEEN ABANDONED DUE TO WEATHER AND STATE OF TRACK

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Shadow Flight Set To Fly At Hawkesbury

Trainer Jamie Thomsen is confident Shadow Flight’s home track assignment at Hawkesbury on Thursday will be a stepping stone to handling longer essays.
On the back of a recent eye-catching city performance, Shadow Flight looks hard to beat in the TAB Stand Alone Saturday Benchmark 70 Handicap (1600m), especially with stable apprentice Brandon Griffiths lessening his weight by 4lbs.
The lightly-raced Duporth five-year-old belied his $101 odds when he steamed home, after being slowly away, to finish fourth to Ligulate in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm a fortnight ago on a soft track.
The form from that race is a strong pointer to Thomsen notching his first victory at home since the now retired Rather Sweet scored there in a Class 1 Handicap (1000m) on November 2017.
Three horses – Grimoire, Red Currant and McCormack – who finished behind Shadow Flight that day - have all won at their next start.
Cape Wickham (11th in the Warwick Farm race) is one of Shadow Flight’s rivals.
Thomsen, chasing his fourth success this season, has 12 horses in work and says Shadow Flight is flying the flag for him.
“I bought him as an untried two-year-old from Hobartville Stud for $20,000 and didn’t race him that season,” Thomsen said this morning.
“Whilst I’ve felt from early on he would really come into his own when he gets over a middle distance, I have taken my time with him because he has been so immature, physically and mentally.”
Two of Shadow Flight’s five wins to date have been at tomorrow’s distance (1600m); the other three at 7 f.
Only once has Thomsen tried him beyond 1 m, and he finished fourth in an 1 1⁄8 m Maiden Plate at Hawkesbury in September, 2017 toward the end of his second preparation.
“When Shadow Flight won over 1 m at Kembla Grange last October before a break, it was a very testing track (Heavy 9) and he was strong through the line,” Thomsen said.
“So the wet track tomorrow isn’t going to trouble him at all.
“He has trained on well since his second-up run at Warwick Farm and this race does look suitable.
“But I’m looking forward even more to getting him up to 1 1⁄4 m after this.”
Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Garry White will be an opponent for Thomsen with Redemption Road. He trains for Hobartville Stud’s Grahame Mapp, and like Thomsen, has also taken advantage of an apprentice’s allowance.
Robbie Dolan’s 3lbs claim will lessen Redemption Road’s weight to 129lbs.
The gelding has been ridden by Brenton Avdulla (partnering rival China Gale in tomorrow’s race) at his last two starts at Hawkesbury, winning a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) on February 24 with 134lbs before stepping up in class when fifth to Grimoire in a Benchmark 76 Handicap over the same course on March

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