That was the performance of It’s A Shamozzle to win Monday’s $20,000 Tamworth Cup Prelude (1200m).
No obstacle was too much for the Scone Sensation, who punched his ticket for the $100,000 Tamworth Cup (1400m) on April 30 in majestic style.
Despite carrying the top-weight of 62.5kg, jumping from the outside alley and coming from second-last in the run, It’s A Shamozzle ($6.50) illustrated there is no substitute for quality as he denied hometown hope Hammoon Boy ($12) in a photo finish.
The final margin proved a short-head and even trainer Mary Moses, who prepares a boutique team of six, was taken aback the judge semaphored number one on top.
“I thought he just got beaten,” Moses said.
“Who is the judge? He’s a good one. It was nice to see our number up.”
It’s A Shamozzle, a son of Shamardal, won his second Cup Prelude in three years after saluting with 54kg in 2015.
Monday’s triumph, in a time of 1.10.46, is evidence just how much the strapping six-year-old gelding has progressed since then, a year he went on to run a gutsy fifth place in the Tamworth Cup behind winner Tableaux.
Moses confirmed her stable star will be there come Cup time and optimistic he will be better treated at the weights.
“I’m expecting a stronger field in the Cup,” she said.
“He’s been feeling well this preparation. He’s got very little feet, so soundness has been an issue.
“But this Tamworth track is just fantastic, I was a bit worried when it was upgraded to a Good 3, although it has a great covering of grass.”
The win was a special one for jockey Vad Bolozhinskyi, who has a great affinity with It’s A Shamozzle, tracing back to the breaking in process and of course that memorable maiden victory on debut at Scone in May 2014.
“He’s a better quality horse than the rest of the field, but from that barrier, with that much weight it was a wonderful win,” Bolozhinskyi said.
“I had to go back, let him find his feet early, get a good run and let his quality show in the finish.
“I wasn’t quite sure (if he got there) at the finish, but he hit the line so well.
“He’s certainly the best horse I’ve ridden.”
It’s A Shamozzle lifted his career record to eight wins from 25 starts and took his prizemoney earnings past the $188,000 mark.
Hammoon Boy (Matt Paget) almost delivered a special result for Tamworth trainer Sue Grills, while favourite Mapmaker ($4.00 into $3.40) did its best work during the latter stages in a fine Cup trial.
Hot Vinni ($8.00) rounded out the first four, separated by 0.35 of a length.
The difference between the top eight finishers was less than two lengths in a top edition of the Shay Brennan Constructions Prelude.