Shamus Award on track for Guineas


When a three-year-old takes on his elders first up in group 1 company and runs a respectably close third he might be expected to tighten in the market for a classic against his own age on March 1.

But not Shamus Award, who has drifted to as much as $11 from $7 for the Australian Guineas despite his run behind Moment Of Change in Saturday's Orr Stakes at Caulfield.

Perhaps for Cox Plate winners, even those whose success in the weight-for-age championship came as something of a surprise, expectations are a little higher.

Ridden by champion jockey Craig Williams, Shamus Award might have disappointed some by finishing behind another three-year-old, Eurozone.
Advertisement

But his trainer, Danny O'Brien, believes he remains right on track for the Guineas at Flemington - the sort of race in which success would enhance his value as a stallion.

Until the son of Snitzel scores again at the highest level there will be critics who will regard his Cox Plate triumph - when he shouldered a featherweight and took advantage of an inside gate - as a one off.

O'Brien was bullish about Shamus Award's prospects leading into the Moonee Valley race and is optimistic that the best is yet to come with a horse who will be seen to greater advantage over further than the Orr's 1400 metres.

"We are very happy, the winner's obviously run right up to his best so take nothing away from him - he made all the running at a good tempo and we were flat out two and three lengths off him," he said.

"Shamus did all the chasing and Eurozone's got past him but we were entitled to hit the wall a bit first up. Inside the hundred he started to feel the pinch, but that will have him perfectly where we want him for the Australian Guineas in three weeks.

"That's certainly our biggest target, but we will assess everything after that. There's big races in Sydney."

O'Brien says his colt will improve over more distance.

"He's a mile [1600 metres], mile-and-a-quarter [2000 metres] horse, and we have run into a horse here who has run second in a Newmarket and a Lightning."

Story by Senior Age Sports Reporter Michael Lynch, to view story on-line click here

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

Well-timed run secures Vella win

Well-timed run secures Vella win
[13 Dec 18] Vellastar broke through for his first win in more than 12 months in just his second start for new trainer Danny O'Brien at Warrnambool on Thursday.  more...

History Repeats

History Repeats
[07 Dec 18] In 2009, trainer Danny O’Brien produced a pre-Christmas debut two-year-old winner over 1000m at The Valley in eventual dual Group 1 winner Star Witness. On Friday night history repeated as the trainer stepped out the gun stallion’s half-sister, Lady Lupino, who matched her brother with an all the way win over the same trip.  more...

My Pendant headed for Stakes test

My Pendant headed for Stakes test
[01 Dec 18] My Pendant is likely to feature in Stakes company in the second half of this season after winning her second-consecutive metropolitan race at The Valley on Saturday.  more...