Randwick horseman John O’Shea is preparing an ambitious Sydney and Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign for his gifted colt Foxwedge, the rising three-year-old to target Group 1 glory next season in the 2011 Golden Rose.
Foxwedge, a son of top Australian sire Fastnet Rock, impressed on debut last November winning a two-year-old handicap over 1100m by one and a quarter lengths at Rosehill.
Next start they took their record to two from two with an equally impressive two length victory in the $100,000 Clarry Conners Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on March 5.
Stepped up to Group company at just their third career start, Foxwedge proved their black-type potential with a brave third behind the Anthony Cummings-trained Smart Missile and subsequent Blue Diamond – Golden Slipper double champion Sepoy.
O’Shea gave Foxwedge their chance in this year’s Golden Slipper, the world’s richest race for juveniles, but from an awkward barrier they only managed to finish five lengths away seventh to Peter Snowden’s superstar Sepoy.
Having been in the spelling paddock since their Golden Slipper run in April, Foxwedge is set to return to the Sydney racing scene starting with a Randwick barrier trial over 740 metres on Tuesday.
“He looks really good and I’m very happy with him,” O’Shea said.
“He’s big and strong.”
O’Shea named the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 10 as the major spring aim in Sydney for Foxwedge, which will come three runs into their campaign.
“His main target will be third-up into the Golden Rose,” O’Shea confirmed.
Following Tuesday’s heat, Foxwedge is expected to resume racing in the $125,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 13.
After the Golden Rose 2011 in Sydney, O’Shea said Foxwedge would then likely be taken to Victoria for the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, October 29.
Aside from the big name two-year-olds from last year, another horse targeting the 2011 Golden Rose this spring is the Brett Cavanough-trained Bossdon City.
Bossdon City did not reach the same status as some of the more outstanding horses getting around during their juvenile season, the son of Beautiful Crown winning just one of their five starts to date, but Albury-based Cavanough is still keen to head towards the Golden Rose.
After their brilliant win on debut at Rosehill over Godspeed and Free Wheeling in January, Bossdon City has failed to finish better than fourth in their subsequent four runs.
“Look, when he beat Godspeed, that was the best I had him,” Cavanough admitted.
“He was set for the race and won as we expected.
“It qualified him for the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper, and if I was smart I should have backed off and had a crack at them.
“But he is a racehorse not a poodle, so we raced him.”
Finishing a distant fifth to Sepoy in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield in January, the colt then flopped at Rosehill when seventh to Satin Shoes in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) before being turned out for a break.
“When I saw Sepoy I knew I had seen the beat two-year-old of the year,” Cavanough said.
“We pushed on after that run but he was over the top when he came back to Sydney (in the Silver Slipper).”
Resuming last month, Bossdon City has run fourth (at Flemington) and seventh (at Randwick) in their two most recent runs, but Cavanough is convinced they have the ability to improve.
“The idea of coming back now is to dodge some of the smart ones and get back winning.”
Cavanough has scheduled the $125,000 Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on August 27 as the first major stepping stone towards qualifying Bossdon City for the Golden Rose field.
“When you have a good horse you have to travel,” he said.
“This fellow is a good horse, so he has seen plenty of the back of the truck.
“Whether he gets to the Golden Rose remains to be seen, but we are going to give him the chance to get there.”