9 Mar 2012

Shez Sinsational wins Auckland Cup and qualifies for Melbourne

2:52 pm on 9 March 2012

Shez Sinsational and top jockey James McDonald beat 18 rivals at Ellerslie to win New Zealand's iconic staying race, the Stella Artois Auckland Cup.

McDonald is enjoying a boom Auckland Cup Week after having won the Group I Telecom New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on Saturday aboard mare Silent Achiever.

Trained by Taranaki-based Allan Sharrock the race favourite completed the impressive feat just four days after running third in the TV3 Nathans' Memorial at Ellerslie.

Sharrock's father Bob recently suffered a heart attack and did not make the trip to Ellerslie, however he is now one step closer to achieving a life-long dream of having a horse run in the Melbourne Cup, with the Stella Artois Auckland Cup acting as a qualifying race for the November feature.

Should Shez Sinsational make the Melbourne Cup field, she will be out to emulate the efforts of Jezabeel who won the 1998 Auckland Cup before going on to win the Melbourne Cup later that year.

The duo beat home the Sylvia Kay-trained Spiro, which hung on for second and Wellington Cup winner, Six O'Clock News who finished third.