Bishop’s colours to fore again

Blue Shadow (Michael Coleman) thrashing her rivals at Matamata today.

Blue Shadow (Michael Coleman) thrashing her rivals at Matamata today.

Elderly former Te Rapa owner-trainer Colin Bishop has found himself another talented galloper.

Bishop’s colours were to the fore at Matamata today aboard the Graeme Hughes-trained Blue Shadow, who recorded an impressive win in the Duncan & Ebbett 1200 in the hands of Michael Coleman.

Blue Shadow races in a three-way partnership of Bishop (80), his brother Des and sister Astrid Morgan after being bought by Colin Bishop for $18,000 from the Seaton Park draft at the 2015 Festival Yearling Sales at Karaka.

Blue Shadow is a three-year-old Dalghar daughter of Blue Veil, a smart sprinter who won seven races and finished fourth in the Gr.1 Easter Handicap at Ellerslie. And judging by today’s performance the grey filly has inherited some of her mother’s talent.

She showed ability in her two trials, finishing third in the first one at Avondale last July then winning at Cambridge on March 28 and, though she finished only fifth on debut at Rotorua last month, there was confidence in the camp she would be a big improver today.

“She rocked back at the start when she should’ve been going forward,” said Hughes, commenting on her debut effort. “She missed the start and got squashed out.”

Hughes was quietly confident she would be a threat today – “if she can get out of the gates good. She’s got some wheels. She took a while to click and it all come together.”

Blue Shadow lived up to her promise when beginning well today and settling sixth on the inner, Coleman had her closer approaching the home turn and angled her out soon after and she charged at the leader and powered clear to win by four and a half lengths.

“I was very happy she got away nicely today,” said Hughes. “She’s really only starting. She has taken ages to get to the racetrack.

“The owner wants to carry on while she’s three and she can handle the wet by the look of it. She’ll be a nice mare at four.”

Bishop has had his share of winners as an owner-trainer including Monument, who won a couple with the latest being at Ellerslie in 2010, and Duty Call (three wins).

The best horse Bishop has owned is Testament, whom he raced from the Cambridge stable of Alan Jones to win nine races, including the 1989 Gr.2 Concorde at Avondale.

Testament won five races in succession as a three-year-old, including the 1988 Gr.3 Waikato Guineas and Gr.2 Winstone (Great Northern Guineas). His winning streak came to an end when he finished second in Gr.1 2000 Guineas at Riccarton behind the Roger McGlade-trained and owned Krona, whom he has beaten the previous start in the Guineas at Ellerslie.