John Shelton could not have dreamed up a better day at his home track of Grafton on Monday, training a treble of winners, including that of Tara Jasmine, who dominated her rivals in the 1181m Class Two Handicap.
The progressive four-year-old was the one-time Country Championship favourite before finishing down the track to eventual winner, Art Cadeau, back on April 10.
After an 18-week spell, Tara Jasmine put on an exhibition at the Clarence River Jockey Club under the guidance of Ben Looker, which saw her easily account for Old Time Man and Rose Boutique to win as the well-supported $1.70 favourite.
“I was a fair bit confident she would run well, and she did a good job with the big weight,” Shelton said.
It was no surprise to see Tara Jasmine tumble into a $26 chance to win The 2021 Kosciuszko, and while the Grafton trainer was hopeful his charge would be picked up to run in the $1.3 million event on October 16, Shelton wasn’t out to ‘sell’ her as a prospect to potential ticket holders, and instead believed she would do all the talking on the track.
“Yeah, for sure, It (The Kosciuszko) is in the back of our minds for her,” he said.
“We won’t be doing much. We will just let her do the talking.”
Shelton believed his mare, that is by Cowboy Blue and out of Carmela Miss, would only improve this preparation.
“She has definitely thickened up, she has come up really well,” Shelton said.
“She is not a really big filly, but she has come on again this time in.”
While all the buzz was around Tara Jasmine’s emphatic victory, Shelton looks to have a few handy types in his stable, with Great Marlow winning well in the 1610m Benchmark 58 Handicap and the impressive Cabsav proving too strong in the 1006m Maiden Plate – both ridden by Luke Rolls.
“We got him (Great Marlow) up to a mile, he might get 1800m but that might be his limit,” Shelton said.
“He is a really honest type.”
Cabsav is another progressive type, with the three-year-old doing a few things wrong but still running away with a commanding victory first-up after a 20-week spell.
“He did a fair bit wrong the other day and I am pretty sure we haven’t seen the best of him,” Shelton said.
“He had a couple of runs as a two-year-old and I think the older he gets, the better he gets.”
Shelton trains a dozen gallopers on course at Grafton, and he said it was always nice to be watching his runners win at home.
“It is the best track in the area and it’s good to be training winners there,” Shelton said.