Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien is confident Shamexpress will be “spot on” when he makes his international debut in the Group 1 2013 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
The three-year-old hasn’t raced since his Newmarket Handicap triumph in March but O’Brien believes he has the fitness to open his overseas account with a bang.
“He left very fit and he’ll have one gallop tomorrow which should have him spot on for Tuesday,” O’Brien told media in the UK.
The overseas journey can be long and arduous but O’Brien said the signs were good that his stable star has not been negatively impacted by the travel.
“Obviously it’s a long trip but he seemed to handle it really well,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien admits the challenge of stepping up from a lightweight run is difficult but believes Shamexpress has the improvement to make the next step.
Further reason for O’Brien to be confident is the success of Linton in Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap. Prior to his departure to the UK, Shamexpress defeated the grey in an 800m jump-out at Flemington.
“He had an 800m trial at home and beat a horse who has since gone out and won a big Group 1, the Stradbroke,” he said.
“I do believe he’s a horse on an upward spiral and his next few runs should be the best of his career.”
Shamexpress is currently an $8 chance to win the King’s Stand which is one of the highlights on the opening day of the Royal Ascot Carnival.
The main horse he will have to overcome to be successful is South African speedster Shea Shea who will start as a clear favourite after putting together back-to-back wins in Dubai.
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