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McCall has no regrets bypassing Stradbroke with Tiger Shark

Fri 7 June 2024

By Glenn Davis

Sunshine Coast trainer Natalie McCall has no regrets about bypassing this year’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap with her latest star, Tiger Shark.

McCall is happy to keep chasing stakes races with her talented filly who tackles the Listed Queensland Day Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

McCall set a new benchmark for woman in racing a decade ago when she became the first female trainer to win the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap with River Lad.

Her feat was matched by Australia’s first lady Gai Waterhouse, who along with co-trainer Adrian Bott, won Queensland’s premier sprint with Alligator Blood two years ago.

“At this stage I doubt she’d run 1400 metres in the Stradbroke, so we’ll just keep her to shorter races for the time being,” McCall said of Tiger Shark.

“Maybe when she furnishes out a bit more, she’ll get 1400 metres and if she does then maybe the Stradbroke is an option next year.”

Tiger Shark has been a revelation for McCall.

She has won five of her 13 starts and almost $345,000 in prize money after being knocked down for $15,000 at the 2021 Inglis Great Southern Weanling sale.

The daughter of Rich Enuff produced an upset win in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate at Eagle Farm in April before beating only two home in the Listed Bright Shadow at Doomben in the middle of May.

She bounced back to her best last start winning the Listed Darby McCarthy over 1110 metres at Doomben on May 25.

“She won well in the Mick Dittman but we thought there’d be a lot more speed in the Bright Shadow so we decided to ride her back and she only beat a few home,” McCall said.

“At her last run in the Darby McCarthy at Doomben, we went forward on her and she won well.

"The set weights of this race will help her a lot but she hasn’t won yet over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm as both her wins over 1200 metres were at Doomben.”

McCall expects another strong performance from Tiger Shark in the Queensland Day Stakes and has retained Victorian rider Craig Williams.

“If she runs well in this we may look at a race like the Gai Waterhouse at Ipswich next start,” McCall said.

Tiger Shark has drawn perfectly in barrier four which McCall hopes will boost her chances.

“She’s got nice barrier which helps but it’s a very strong race and anyone of them can win,” she said.

In latest markets, Tiger Shark is a $15 chance behind $2.50 favourite Hedged.