Horse racing: Favorites’ swansong showdown

Sport

Sinarahma (left) won last month in Wellington as her race career nears an end.

The $110,000 Travis Stakes is shaping as the clash of the goodbye girls at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The connections of warm favorite Two Illicit have announced the group 2 mare’s race will be her last before retiring to stud and now it looks certain the next highest rated mare in the Travis, Sinarahma will also have her final race in the 2000m weight-for- age event.

The winner of seven races and closing in at $300,000 in stakes, Sinarahma is already a valuable broodmare, being a daughter of freakish mare Shez Sinsational and placed at group 1 level behind Melody Belle.

Trainer Allan Sharrock said the talented mare has nothing left to prove and there were few other swansong options this season.

“She has done a wonderful job and is definitely off to stud next season so this will almost certainly be it for her this weekend,” said Sharrock.

“There is maybe one more option for her, a race like the Rotorua Cup, but she will probably be too high in the weights so I think we will be happy enough to call it quits after the weekend.”

Sharrock said he has Sinarahma spot on and thought he had found the perfect farewell race until he saw Two Illicit in the Travis entries.

“Two Illicit was very, very good last start in the Breeders Stakes and I thought her run was actually better than Coventina Bay that day,” said Sharrock.

“If that Two Illicit turns up on Saturday then maybe we are all running for a second because she is a class mare.

“I thought she might have been finished after the Breeders so I wasn’t thrilled to see her in there.”

Two Illicit has opened the $2.10 favorite for the Travis with Sinarahma at $3.60 and the rival who beat her last start in the Manawatu Breeders in Charms Star at $6.50.

“She might have beat us last start but I think our mare got to the wrong part of the track and had she come wide we would have won.

“I am not writing off Charms Star because she is a good mare but I am a lot more worried about Two Illicit.”

Stable’s four-pronged attack

Sinarahma is the only representative Sharrock will have at Te Rapa but he takes four from the stable to Wanganui on Saturday, rating Tavattack (race 6) his best chance with a 3kg claim.

Meanwhile, Sharrock’s stable star Tavi Mac is back in light work on the treadmill, having not raced since finishing last in the Telegraph in January.

One of the great surprise stories after racing resumed from its Covid halt in 2020, Tavi Mac has struggled to replicate that form this season but his sole win was a reminder of how talented he is, beating Packing Rockstar and Mascarpone at group 3 level at Rotorua in October.

“He has had his issues, mainly with his back, but we will give him another go because he deserves it.”

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