Shocking Stayer Seeks to Emulate His Sire

Media Release - Wednesday March 3

In-form galloper Defibrillate is giving his New Zealand owners a great thrill, having strung together four consecutive wins in Melbourne, and he will be vying to extend it to five at Flemington on Saturday.

Co-bred and part-owned by Matamata trainer Graham Richardson, the son of Shocking is set to line-up in the Gr.1 Australian Cup (2000m) this weekend for Plumpton conditioner Patrick Payne, his first tilt at elite-level.

Defibrillate is on track for the G1 Australian Cup - image Grant Courtney.

The six-year-old gelding is by Shocking, who won the Group I VRC Australian Cup in 2011. He has been in stellar form this time in, winning four of his five starts, including the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day and the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at the same track last start.

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While pleased with his gelding’s form, Payne said he is still unsure how Defibrillate will handle the step-up to Group One weight-for-age company.

“I am confident he will run well, but whether he is good enough at weight-for-age (I don’t know),” Payne told RSN927.

“When you have a look at the entries, he might not be good enough, but there is nothing that really frightens you.

“When you start going into the form of the Australian Cup, it probably isn’t as strong as what it normally is.

“Everyone is more concentrating towards the All-Star Mile or Sydney.

“We thought we would have a crack at it.”

Payne is happy with Defibrillate’s condition heading into the weekend and said he is in the best shape of his career.

“He is in excellent order. He is a really nice horse to train,” Payne said.

“We don’t need to do a lot with him. We have always thought that we could get him a little bit fitter and I think he has tightened up a bit and he goes to the races terrific on Saturday.”

Payne admitted that he doesn’t know how good Defibrillate is yet, but he said he will get a better gauge on Saturday and if he continues his excellent run of form, a trip to Sydney could be on the cards.

“I should know how good he is, but I don’t know,” Payne said.

“He is a very casual horse, he is pretty much doing what he has to. Whether he has got any more than that, he might not. I think we will find out on Saturday.

“If he can run one or two he will probably go up to Sydney for the BMW (Gr.1 Tancred Stakes, 2400m), or the other big 2000m (Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth) race up there.

“If he is not quite good enough then we will concentrate on Mornington Cup (Listed, 2400m).” – NZ Racing Desk

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