Local Sydney trainer John O’Shea is preparing to saddle-up two livewire chances in one of the key support races on the Sydney Cup Day program at Royal Randwick this Saturday with Kingdoms and Sir Denzel both set for the three-year-olds’ showdown.
There were a total of 11 early entries for this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) where Guy Walter’s flying Toydini will start the likely favourite.
Toydini comes off two big Group victories firstly by 2.5 lengths in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) on March 23 and then their four length effort in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes over the Randwick mile on April 13.
O’Shea meanwhile will be out to take down the top fancy with two from his stables, happy with the lead-up form on his two while still admitting that Toydini is the one to beat.
“They’re lovely staying conveyances that have come a long way this preparation,” he said of Kingdoms and Sir Denzel.
“We’re under no illusions. Toydini is 17 ratings points ahead of the next runner in the field and under set weight with penalties he’s extremely well placed.”
The trainer’s best Frank Packer chance looks to lie in nicely-bred High Chaparral colt Kingdoms.
A distant fourth to superstar Kiwi It’s A Dundeel in their first black type assignment in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 30, Kingdoms finished in the money behind the same horse last start when a brave third in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) a fortnight ago.
Saturday will see them drop back to the 2000m again and take on a far easier class of rivals boosting O’Shea’s confidence.
Also adding to O’Shea’s confidence was the fact Rosehill Guineas runner-up Sacred Falls backed up to beat home the short priced favourite Pierro in last Saturday’s Doncaster Mile.
“The form has held up and despite being beaten comfortably it’s the formline that you want at this carnival,” he said.
Kingdoms will be joined in the Frank Packer Plate field this weekend by Savabeel gelding Sir Denzel, another progressive three-year-old for O’Shea.
Sir Denzel has won one of their eight starts so far over 1850m at Newcastle three back and was last seen running a credible third behind Philippi in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) on a soft Rosehill track on Golden Slipper Day.
Following Saturday’s race it’s off to the paddock for Kingdoms who will undergo a gelding operation while O’Shea plans to press on with Sir Denzel who will be aimed at the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
“It’s in the interest of racing (to geld Kingdoms),” O’Shea said.
“I expect he will derive huge benefit from being two-stone lighter.
“The Denz will have another run in Queensland before tackling the Queensland Derby.
“The Sydney autumn form almost invariably holds up during the Brisbane winter carnival.”
All the Sydney Cup Day race fields will be released on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au including that for the Frank Packer Plate.
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