Sprinter shapes up in England


A Group 1-winning sprinter will be among the first shipment of horses to fly in from England with a view to tackling the Spring Racing Carnival riches.

But it will be a speedster well known to Australian racing fans.

Danny O’Brien’s Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress will accompany some of the world’s best middle-distance and staying performers, who are coming to Victoria for the Emirates Melbourne Cup, BMW Caulfield Cup and Sportingbet Cox Plate.

Shamexpress has spelled in England since his seventh placing in the July Cup on 13 July and will return to work on Thursday – the day he turns four – with a view to tackling the Group 1 sprints during the Spring Racing Carnival.

O’Brien said preparing the O’Reilly colt out of England, where he also contested the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing ninth, was the best way to get him ready for Spring.

“If we didn’t stay there we wouldn’t have been able to keep working him,” O’Brien said.

“He would have had three weeks quarantine and two weeks at Eastern Creek, whereas this way he can have an uninterrupted run at the Spring.

“He’ll go back into work at Newmarket on the 1st of August and we’ll get him ready there. He’ll come up out with the first shipment (of internationals) and he’ll arrive back at Werribee on Grand Final Day. We’ll work him at Werribee until we bring him back to Flemington.”

The $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on 9 November is O’Brien’s key target with Shamexpress, who may also tackle the $1 million Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) on the opening night of the Cox Plate Carnival (25 October).

It will be a while before we see Shamexpress, another quality sprinter from the O’Brien yard – Group 3 Standish Handicap winner Adamantium – will return to the track next month.

The soon-to-be-five-year-old, who hasn’t started since his runaway Standish win on New Year’s Day – won a jumpout at Flemington on Friday morning and is likely to have a run before his immediate spring aim, the $150,000 Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) on 7 September.

“He’ll probably be heading towards the Bobbie Lewis Quality on Makybe (Diva Stakes) Day. He may have a run a couple of weeks before then,” O’Brien said. “He looks like he’s come back in good shape.”

By Brad Bishop, to view full Racing Victoria story click here

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

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