Despite the rise in class and the jump in distance of nearly 400 metres SHALMANESER rose to the occassion (as did his namesake - a group of Assyrian Kings), in producing a strong win at Newcastle on the 7th February 2015 in the 1500m Bet To Win Tips Class 1 Handicap.
Again, to the fore was the judgement of Scott in knowing his horses intimately, their capabilities and the selection of the races they run in. Over the longer journey of 1500m and considering the way SHALMANESER finished his race off last start, the plan was to try and settle the four-year-old son of Teofilo close to the pace. His jockey Kevin May, after taking advantage of his inside draw, achieved just that settling second on the fence after the first 150 metres of the race. With SHALMANESER ($8.50) travelling comfortably, the rider held that position until the 800 metre mark where Kevin popped of the rail to put his mount one off the fence, outside the leader Pyramid Prince. The favourite, the Bjorn Baker trained Marvelous Ceramibo ($3.00) was poised only a length behind the pair. The move was justified as it gave SHALMANESER clear running rounding the home turn and in the run for home.
Once balanced up in the straight, the horse was given full rein and he responded, setting up a winning break with approximately 250 metres to go. Kevin kept SHALMANESER's mind on the job and at the winning post finished a length clear of Marvelous Ceramibo with another horse from the Bjorn Baker stable, High Seas running on strongly to finish in third place.
The win, his second in a row, was very pleasing as it is difficult for any horse after winning their Maiden to go on and win a Class 1 at their very next start. SHALMANESER has achieved this and seems to have done it comfortably ... a nice horse on the rise.
Again, congratulations to the owners - members of the Zomaya family, Mrs Callow, Mrs Bailey and Mr Kent, there's definately exciting times ahead.
A mention should also go to the jockey, after a great ride ... thanks Kevin.