Cambridge pair jumping for joy

Cambridge owner-trainers Michael Roustoby and Jennifer McIlroy are having the time of their lives with a former castoff, Shakeitup.

The pair race and train Shakeup, who registered his fifth win and took his stake earnings over $50,000 when he sneaked home in the Firth Certified Concrete Highweight at the Racing Rotorua meeting yesterday. He was aided by a good ride by Richard Cully, who got him home along the inner by a head from fellow Cambridge horse, Moni Nui.

“Every time Richard rides him in a highweight he’s in the first three,” said Roustoby. “We thought he’d go a good race. He worked well before his last race and he’d improved from that.”

Shakeitup had finished eighth freshup at Te Awamutu in a Rating 2000 metres and though successful yesterday on the flat, his future lies as a hurdler.

The son of Shinko King showed talent as a jumper last year and he is likely to contest hurdle races over the next months.

“He’ll either go down for the Awapuni Hurdles and the Hawke’s Bay Hurdles or to the South Island for restricted hurdles races,” said Roustoby. “Shelley (Houston) will ride him down at Awapuni and Hastings, but if he goes to the South Island Richard will be on again.”

Shakeitup was a maiden with 17 runs under his belt when he joined the Roustoby — McIlroy ownership.

“It was through Graeme Lord that we got him,” recalled Roustoby. “I asked if he knew of any horse we could muck around with and he told us of him (Shakeitup) and said it was worth having a go.”

Roustoby and McIlroy also pay credit to Ann Browne for the improvement in Shakeitup in the last season or two. “He works up the hill at Brownes and that’s been a big help,” he said. “It’s made him.”

Long term Roustoby has a dream of tackling the Von Dousa Steeplechase at Oakbank with Shakeitup.