Australia’s key Royal Ascot hope Shamexpress has drawn barrier three in a 19-horse field for Tuesday’s Group 1 2013 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m).
Set to jump as race two (12:05 am, Wednesday AEST) on the opening day of the carnival, the King’s Stand Stakes has been a long-range target for the Danny O’Brien-trained colt.
Shamexpress hasn’t raced since taking out the Newmarket Handicap in March but O’Brien is confident that the youngster is primed for his international debut.
”The preparation has gone without any problems so I would expect him to run a very good race on Tuesday,” O’Brien told media in the UK.
O’Brien has come close in the King’s Stand before, with Star Witness finishing a close second in 2011.
Shamexpress has drawn closely to the main rival he will have to overcome in order to be successful, with favourite Shea Shea set to jump from barrier five.
The Mike De Kock-trained gelding will chase a third straight win after putting together back-to-back victories in Dubai including the Group 1 Al Quoz sprint.
On paper the South African speedster looks tough to beat, having won 10 of 19 starts including three times at Group 1 level.
Another key runner in the King’s Stand Stakes is British colt Reckless Abandon. The son of Exchange Rate finished third in the Group 2 Temple Stakes last month but won the first five starts of his career last year.
Temple Stakes winner Kingsgate Native will also run in the King’s Stand as will Group 1 winner Sole Power and Spirit Quartz who last seen winning at Group 2 level in France.
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