Sharp Takes Back Seat Role In Perth Stakes


Geraldton-based trainer Murray Sharp has been more than content to take a back seat role and hand over the reins to a life-long friend with his talented juvenile, Divide The Sea.

And following an eye-catching victory on debut at Ascot two weeks ago, the Moshe colt is now plotting a path towards the Karrakatta Plate, Perth’s richest race for two-year-olds.

Those ambitious claims will be put to the test on Saturday when Divide The Sea goes into the Listed Perth Stakes (1100m) as one of the leading fancies.

Jericho Missile has a stranglehold on betting as the $1.85 favourite, but Divide The Sea is well respected by punters and sits on the second line at $4.40.

Sharp, a hobby trainer with a team of two in work, says from the time he bought Divide The Sea at the Magic Millions Perth yearling sale, the colt had shown above average ability.

Once the realisation set in how good and the potential that was on offer he had no hesitation in handing over the care of the horse to Trevor Andrews at Ascot.

“Trevor and I go way back and we are very good friends,” Sharp told The Races WA.

“We grew up together as kids and have known each other a long time.

“Trevor is a very good trainer and a very good trainer of two-year-olds, particularly colts.

“I rang him to tell him I thought I had a pretty handy horse who goes alright.

“At the moment it’s looking good.”

Sharp went to the yearling sales a couple of years back with modest intentions, but his interest spiked after he laid eyes on Divide The Sea for the first time.

He had a good idea of the bloodlines after racing and having some success with his dam Rachine, a winner of several races in Geraldton nearly a decade back.

Sharp bought Divide The Sea for what now appears like a $20,000 bargain.

He was perplexed by a lack of interent shown in the yearling.

“I fell in love with him the first time I saw him,” Sharp said.

“I can’t believe there was no interest.

“I pulled him out of the boxes five times and I can tell you there was no one looking at him.”

Divide The Sea has been given a good push by punters and is well in the mix for a feature win at his second start, but Sharp prefers to take a low key approach.

“I’m hoping and praying,” said Sharp.

“Jericho Missile is a very good horse and unbeaten.

“But Divide The Sea can’t do any more than his done.

“I’ll be happy if he runs a good race.”

Divide The Sea has drawn barrier seven in the field of 10.

Shaun McGruddy maintains the ride.

Julio Santarelli