Shenzhou Steeds (NZ) dispelled any doubts about his ability to run out a strong 2400m with a seven length victory in the LR Caloundra Cup on Saturday.
Shenzhou Steeds (4g Ishiguru – Sun City by Spectacular Love) is trained by Michael Moroney and he was worried top-weight of 58kg on a heavy track and the fact the gelding had not raced further than 2000 metres could conspire to end his unbeaten record in Queensland.
Shenzhou Steeds put those concerns to bed with a powerful performance at the Sunshine Coast and Moroney is now weighing up options with the LR Grafton Cup (2350m) on the radar.
Shenzhou Steeds is unbeaten in Queensland in five starts. Last season at three, he completed a hat-trick culminating in the LR Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m). He went into Saturday’s race off a LR victory in the Ipswich Cup (2000m).
Bred by Chequers Stud, Shenzhou Steeds was passed-in at NZB’s 2009 Karaka Select Sale. Moroney bought him privately for $120,000 and the gelding has now won 7 races for earnings approaching $400,000.
Shenzhou Steeds is by Ishiguru (Danzig) who died due to complications from a knee injury in September 2009. He shuttled from Tweenhills Stud to Australia in 2003 and was then re-routed to Chequers Stud.
NZ bred gallopers have won 8 Caloundra Cups since 2000. Other horses carrying the NZ suffix to victory in that time have been were Henderson Bay, Victory Smile, Raw Instinct, Portland Singa, Empyreal (twice), Fast Future and Reggie.