The winning percentage record and the versatility of SHALMANESER, a son of the Darley based stallion Teofilo (IRE), became even more impressive after the four-year old was victorious at his home track, Hawkesbury, on Thursday 26th March 2015.
It was the gelding's first attempt over the distance (2000m) of the M & K Plumbing Benchmark 60 Handicap, he covered the journey effortlessly, producing a very strong performance resulting in his stats showing four wins from five starts for our stable over distances varying from 1110m to 2000m.
After SHALMANESER was allocated equal topweight of 60.5 kilograms for the race, trainer Scott decided to utilise an apprentice jockey to reduce the amount of weight his charge would have to carry. He selected Samantha Clenton, with her claim, it would bring the horse's impost down to 58.5 kilograms.
Sam is currently on loan to Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, having ridden more than 80 winners within a fairly short period, was keen to add to that tally on her first day back riding after a lengthy enforced holiday.
Scott, knowing his horses as he does had devised a plan to be positive from the gates. The jockey and her mount, steady in the betting at $5, followed instructions and due to the fact that there were no serious challenges to take up the role of front-runner, found themselves in front shortly after the start, bowling along at a steady pace.
Samantha rated SHALMANESER beautifully and in doing so enabled her horse to travel comfortably, that remained the case until 600 metres from home when it was time to get down to business.
Well into the straight and still on the bit, the leader was given a little more rein, and increased the tempo. A couple of slaps of the shillelagh and getting pushed along hands and heels was all that was needed to keep SHALMANESER's mind on the job, defying any challengers to go past them and deny them of victory.