O'Brien confident ahead of King's Stand Stakes tilt


Trainer Danny O'Brien knows he has the right horse in Shamexpress to take to England for the 1000m King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.

"He's a Newmarket (Handicap) winner. The last 10 Newmarkets would be stronger than any of the last 10 King's Stands," O'Brien said yesterday.

The trainer said it was a misapprehension that because Shamexpress was contesting an overseas race, it had to be a stronger field.

"The highest-rated sprint in the world each year is the Lightning Stakes. He's not stepping up in class at all. The hardest sprint races are here," O'Brien said.

Shamexpress has not started since he won the Newmarket on March 9, when he ran on strongly to defeat Moment Of Change.

O'Brien said the biggest test for Shamexpress would be going from a handicap to weight-for-age.

O'Brien said the three-year-old had galloped strongly yesterday at Flemington and would have a jumpout on Friday and one next week before flying out on June 5.

"He's in really good shape," he said.

This will be O'Brien's third trip to Royal Ascot. In 2006 he took Glamour Puss, who finished seventh in the King's Stand and 10th in the Golden Jubilee Stakes. And two years ago Star Witness ran second in the King's Stand and third in the Golden Jubilee.

O'Brien pointed out that Shamexpress was a Newmarket winner while Star Witness finished only seventh in the race before heading to England.

He said Shamexpress would also run in the July Cup at Newmarket before heading back to Australia and he definitely would not be retired after his trip to England.

Shamexpress will be ridden in England by Craig Newitt, who won the Newmarket on him.

Shamexpress is $11 fourth favourite for the King's Stand behind South African sprinter Shea Shea.

Story by Michael Manley, to view full story on Herald Sun website click here 

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here

Belichick scores touchdown at Pakenham

Belichick scores touchdown at Pakenham
[19 Jun 18] Jockey Damien Oliver followed the game plan perfectly which allowed Belichick to score his first touchdown at Pakenham on Thursday. The three-year-old gelding's namesake, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, would have been proud at the planning that went into his first victory at start eight.  more...

Step up in trip sees De' Majico home

Step up in trip sees De' Majico home
[15 Jun 18] A step up to 1900m has been the catalyst behind De' Majico breaking through for his maiden victory at Geelong on Friday. Having been placed twice in her first seven starts, the four-year-old relished the increase trip to get on the board as a winner for her patient connections.  more...

Seachange has Bullseye on target for the Valley

Seachange has Bullseye on target for the Valley
[13 Jun 18] Trainer Danny O'Brien believes a coastal freshen-up since Another Bullseye's most recent start has agreed with the mare, who will be chasing the third win of her campaign when she runs at Moonee Valley on Saturday.   more...