Bargain purchase Shez Shamus had the grandstand rocking as her large group of owners cheered her to a hard-fought victory over 1200m in the first race at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Trainer Peter Lock outlaid just $17,000 for the three-year-old daughter of Shamus Award when selecting her from the Monovale Farm draft during the Book 1 sale at Karaka in 2021.
Lock put together a wide and diverse group to race her and she rewarded their faith with a maiden victory at just her second start after debuting with an eye-catching run for fourth over 800m at Hastings last month.
Sent straight to the front from barrier rise by rider Vinnie Colgan, Shez Shamus and the Stephen Marsh runner Academy Award dictated proceedings out in front throughout.
The pair were still at the head of affairs at the 200m as a wave of challengers threatened wider out, however in a blanket finish with just a long neck separating the first five home, it was Shez Shamus who got in the deciding stride to beat Academy Award by a nose with Tawi a short neck back in third.
Lock’s daughter Casey cut an emotional figure as she accepted congratulations from an excited throng of supporters after the photo finish was confirmed.
“That’s absolutely amazing and I’m a bit emotional with all the people here today,” she said.
“They got into this syndicate after Dad bought her for $17,000 at Karaka, which just shows you that you don’t have to spend a lot of money.
“They are wonderful people and you can see that it means so much to them.
“It won’t be the last (win) as she has a huge amount of ability and there is plenty more in store.”
Colgan was confident to try his luck in front after the filly made such a good beginning at the start.
“She stepped well so I just let her flow and we had a pretty easy time of it in front,” he said.
“She was giving a nice kick in the straight and a good feel, so it was a good effort as the track is pretty deep and when they start to cut into it, it will be a good old slog.”
Bred by the Smithies family under their Monovale Holdings banner, Shez Shamus is the first foal of race winning Tavistock mare Waterberg and is the great-granddaughter of Group 1 AJC Oaks (2400m) winner Mahaya.
Group One winners and successful sires Lonhro and Niello also feature in her extended family as does former Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Catalyst.