Sheikha proves a point with win

14 February 2018 07:31:50 EST

Sheikha took out the Benchmark 73 Handicap (1100m) at Warwick Farm on Wednesday afternoon and is now set to step back up to stakes company.

Sheikha finished a close-up third behind the undefeated Charlayne in a strong three-year-old fillies' Saturday race when returning from a spell and co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott took the decision to drop a grade for her next assignment.

It proved to be the correct decision as Bott explained.

"She's a quality filly, so it was pleasing to see her do that," Bott said. "We had her entered for the Light Fingers on Saturday, so after deciding to take the easier option, it's good to see her do that."

Speaking after the race, jockey Josh Parr said Sheikha "switched off" when she got to the front and was capable of winning easier than the short-neck margin over Tarabai, with one and a quarter lengths back to Ready For Love in third.

"She was always going to improve off her first-up run because she only went into that off one trial," Bott said.

"I think we saw her improvement today. She's black-type placed at the moment, so we'd certainly like to get a black-type win.

"She's proven she races well on the fresh side, so we might look at a short freshen and look to a race like the PJ Bell (Stakes) on the first day of The Championships. We'll work that out after we see how she comes through this."

Meanwhile, Vega Magic is 6/1 to win The Everest, with Brave Smash 14/1 and Viddora 14/1.

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