Simply Shaz (NZ) Lands Perth’s Biggest Group One Mares Feature
28 November 2023
Simply Shaz (NZ) (American Ideal) showed her almighty staying power when winning the A$150,000 Group One Westral Mares Classic (2536m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The NZB Standardbred graduate sling-shotted the leaders to prove she was the strongest staying type in West Australia’s richest mares race.
Simply Shaz was purchased for just $18,000 by Keith Ovens when she was offered among the Breckon Farms draft at the 2019 National Yearling Sale at Karaka.
Trainer Paul Kerr developed the mare in New Zealand before Ovens sold her to clients of Western Australian trainer Peter Anderson.
Driver Trent Wheeler had a plan leading into the Westrel Mares Classic and it was to trail the favourite Wonderful To Fly (Aus) (Fly Like An Eagle).
Wheeler got his calculations spot on, with Simply Shaz able to outstay the favourite as she went on to win.
“She's been a great mare and 2500m has definitely been her best distance,” commented Wheeler.
“We were lucky enough – all week we were hoping to hold the back of Wonderful To Fly and we did enough early.”
“We got our chance and she was good enough to take it.”
Though Wonderful To Fly slipped away before the home turn, Simply Shaz was able to reel her in with her tough staying effort.
“Half-way around the corner when it looked like we were getting a little bit closer, she kept coming,” Wheeler said.
“Then we pulled out and she kept coming, she loves that 2500m grind and she just kept grinding away.”
Wheeler credited trainer Peter Anderson for the continued progression of Simply Shaz.
The mare’s maiden Group One victory was the 16th win of her career and it took her earnings past A$250,000.
“He's always had a good opinion of her and he's put a lot of hard work in and she's done the rounds,” Wheeler said.
“I was lucky enough to start driving her in Albany and through that progression of teaming up with Peter.”
Simply Shaz’s Group One Westral Mares Classic sits alongside her Group Two Empress Stakes (2536m) victory earlier this year on her impressive CV.
“We won the Empress with her and now she's won a Group One,” Wheeler said.
“She was pretty deserving.”
Simply Shaz was bred and sold at the 2019 National Yearling Sale at Karaka by Janet Champion, Allan Nicolson and Barbara Ironmonger.