Sydney horseman John O’Shea is confident his smart three-year-old Foxwedge can again prove a competitive rival to Hay List when they take them on for the third time straight in the William Reid Stakes 2012 at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Fastnet Rock colt Foxwedge will go to Moonee Valley for the first time this week as the 56kg lightweight of the weight-for-age $400,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
After a first-up win at Kensington in January, Foxwedge has gone on to run top four in two elite level Melbourne assignments.
First was a good fourth behind the superlative Black Caviar in the Lightning Stakes, a race John McNair’s comeback king Hay List ran second in.
Hay List and Foxwedge faced off again last start on March 10 at Flemington, the older of the duo racing away for a historic win in the Newmarket Handicap while the young gun crossed for third.
The pair will renew their rivalry again on Friday evening under the lights at the Valley, joined also by Newmarket runner-up Buffering.
Hay List is the obvious favourite for the William Reid, and making Foxwedge’s task even harder is that they meet the Gosford giant six kilos worse than they did in the Newmarket.
Still, O’Shea remains hopeful that new riding instructions will result in a closer finish if not that elusive upset on Friday.
“Craig (Williams) said he was out on his feet with 400 metres to go (in the Newmarket), so to finish where he did was a might effort.
“With Hay List and Buffering in the race on Friday, there will be plenty of speed on, so we will more than likely sit off them.
“The effort was there in the Newmarket, but the execution was poor. He did a bit wrong in the Newmarket.
“He got running when he didn’t’ get cover in the early part of the race and it negated his finish.
“All we can do is get our house back in order, which we have with Nash Rawiller back aboard, and have him in the best condition possible.
“He is a big, gross colt who will be better third-up.”
It is shaping up as a cracker of a William Reid Stakes this year with other notable hopefuls including resuming Cox Plate third placegetter Rekindled Interest, Peter Snowden’s smart mare Beaded and Rob Heathcote’s Oakleigh Plate champ Woorim.
Acceptances for the Friday and Saturday races this weekend will be taken by the respective race clubs on Wednesday with fields for the majors including the 2012 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes to be published right here at Races.com.au.
The best odds for the weekend’s racing will be found online at bookmaker.com.au, so make sure you have your account open to be ready for a big win!