While Sydney trainer John O’Shea knows he is facing a bit of an uphill battle winning back-to-back editions of the Doomben 10,000 this weekend, he does believe the short priced favourite Your Song could be found out on dry ground.
Anthony Cummings’ classy Fastnet Rock colt Your Song has dominated betting on Saturday’s $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) since their annihilation of rivals in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) on May 11.
In the cup the winning three-year-old thrived on the Heavy (9) Eagle Farm course and put an easy five lengths on runner-up Rain Affair and over six lengths on the third placed Better Than Ready.
They face a similar field of rivals again in the Doomben 10,000 with the Joe Pride-trained Rain Affair, Kelly Schweida’s local hope Better Than Ready and also Rob Heathcote’s fourth placed Buffering set to back up.
While admitting it was a big win, rival trainer O’Shea isn’t sure that Your Song can reproduced their BTC Cup effort on a firmer track which they will find at Doomben Racecourse on the weekend.
“All of Your Song’s statistics were on wet tracks and he was far too good in the heavy conditions in the BTC Cup,” O’Shea said.
“But he has to run 1350m and is back on top of the ground this time so let’s see if we can’t level the ledger.”
O’Shea is preparing to saddle-up a two-pronged attack on the Doomben 10,000 with defending champ Sea Siren and Group 1 performer Steps In Time.
Now four-year-old Fastnet Rock mare Sea Siren was in outstanding form last winter travelling to the sunshine state to win the BTC Cup – Doomben 10,000 double.
She also returned in the spring in Melbourne and won another Group 1 in the Manikato Stakes but has failed to win a race since.
O’Shea sent her overseas last summer to Hong Kong but she could only manage to run ninth to Lord Kanaloa in the Hong Kong Sprint, a campaign that evidently took its toll.
Sea Siren has had three runs back in Australia since late March but all three have seen her finish at the tail end of the field including her eighth when beaten 14.5 lengths in the BTC Cup.
Her trainer remains upbeat however and believes she has what it takes to bounce back on a more suitable track against this field on the weekend with Hall of Fame hoop Jim Cassidy staying on.
“I’ve been happy with her all preparation, she just needs to get a track that suits,” O’Shea said.
Steps In Time meanwhile was last seen running a close fourth when defeated under a length by Appearance in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 23 when overcoming the outside barrier 14 of 14 to put in a big run.
While the Doomben 10,000 is a notable step up in class for the Danehill Dancer five-year-old, Steps In Time isn’t without her claims having won successive races earlier this season including the Group 2 NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Classic (1200m) over Red Tracer.
Nash Rawiller has been booked for the ride, but there’s still a chance she will bypass the Group 1 and run in the $150,000 Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes over the same distance on Doomben 10,000 Day instead.
“The Doomben 10,000 is a big jump in grade for her as she has been racing against mares,” O’Shea said.
“But she is going very well and had a nice barrier trial earlier this month.”
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for the official 2013 Doomben 10,000 final field and barrier draw due for release on Wednesday.
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