John O’Shea’s Group 2 winning mare Steps In Time enjoyed a trial win at Randwick on Thursday morning, her first of the new year, as she prepares to return with a title defense in the 2013 Breeders Classic next month.
The Danehill Dancer five-year-old was one of a number of notable trial winners of the morning when she scored a three length victory beating stablemate Wahlberg over 1050m in a time of 1:02.80, the fastest over that distance for the day.
A winner of six of her 14 starts to date Steps In Time’s biggest turf triumph so far came in the Group 2 NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Classic (1200m) during last year’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival where she beat home Group 1 winner Beaded by three quarters of a length.
She will return to the Warwick Farm feature again this year on February 16 kicking off what O’Shea hopes will be a successful campaign.
“She’s come back well and that was a pleasing trial,” O’Shea said on Thursday.
“We’ll kick her off in the Breeders Classic and go from there.”
Steps In Time hasn’t won a race since the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) last September which was followed by two disappointing runs in Melbourne during the spring carnival when seventh to Solzhenitsyn in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and then eight in a Group 3 race on Melbourne Cup Day.
O’Shea also said that the horse that ran second in Thursday’s trial, Darci Brahma colt Wahlberg, was also worth taking note of.
The three-year-old won on debut at Hawkesbury over 1300m last October and is expected to go through the grades this time in.
Other noteworthy trial runners for O’Shea included three-year-olds Twisted Emotions, Rich ‘N’ Famous and Group 3 winner Colorado Claire who finished second, third and sixth respectively behind the Anthony Cummings-trained Diamond Earth in the third of the morning (1050m), and Golden Rose third place-getter Ashokan who was second to Gai Waterhouse’s Raceway in the next.
“She (Colorado Claire) will stick to the mares’ races,” O’Shea said.
“Twisted Emotions has strengthened up a lot during his break.
“He was very green when in work last prep but he appears to have matured mentally as well.”
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