New Zealand hoop Chad Ormsby believes the horse he rode to a strong Sunshine Coast Guineas win on the weekend, Shenzhou Steeds, has the potential to develop into a genuine Cups contender in the future.
Prepared by former Kiwi Michael Moroney at Flemington, Ishiguru gelding Shenzhou Steeds completed their Queensland raid backing up from two earlier wins at the Sunshine Coast and Doomben with a tidy one and a quarter length victory in the $100,000 Listed Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) last Saturday.
Going out as a $7.50 elect, Shenzhou Steeds and jockey Ormsby were able to beat home a quality field of fellow three-year-olds in the Caloundra Cup Day feature, beating home the likes of runner-up Under The Eiffel ($7) and the fast finishing Kelso Wood-trained third placegetter Benny’s Buttons ($4.60).
Shenzhou Steeds has won four of their eight career starts, including their past three on the trot in Queensland, and connections now plan to spell the promising stayer in preparation for a Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign.
“He’s well overdue for the paddock and at the end of the day he was too good for them,” Ormsby said.
“He’s been an immature horse all the way along and I think he can develop into a Cups horse; he’s got untapped potential and is a really good galloper.”
Ormsby, 22, has a nice association with the rising four-year-old, having not only ridden Shenzhou Steeds to three of their four race wins, but also being the mastermind behind the horse’s purchase.
“He’s a lovely horse and we only bought him on Chad’s advice,” former Melbourne Cup-winner trainer Moroney explained.
“Chad rang me up after he’d won on the horse (at Rotorua in April) and said he was a very good horse because he’d ridden him badly.
“I watched the replay and it was a bit of an ordinary ride but I was undecided and then Chad rang me again and told me the horse was starting again on a wet track and the horse wouldn’t handle it.
“He ran fourth that day so we put in a lower offer and got him.”
Moroney is gearing up for a big Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with two of his stable stars set to target the Australasian weight-for-age championship, the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 22.
Both his Crown Oaks winning filly Brazilian Pulse and star import Glass Harmonium, a big player in the Brisbane Winter Carnival features, have returned to work and are on track for a Cox Plate tilt where they could face dual defending champ So You Think.
“Brazilian Pulse has returned to Melbourne and Glass Harmonium returns to stable up here (at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland) next week,” Moroney said.
“We have been coming up here for a long time and found that spelling horses up here works.
“I think we will look at the Cox Plate with both of them.
“They have both had a good break and are ready to come back.”
A rising six-year-old, European import Glass Harmonium hit headlines in Australia after their successful first-time campaign here during the winter.
Debuting with a gallant second to Chris Waller’s My Kingdom of Fife in the Hollindale Stakes on the Gold Coast, Glass Harmonium went on to record a third to Scenic Shot in the Group 1 Doomben Cup, win the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup and then run second to upset winner Tullamore in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup last start at Eagle Farm on June 11.
“Glass Harmonium’s coat is looking very good and I think he will be a better horse in the spring,” Moroney said.