While much of trainer Danny O’Brien’s spring attention is focused on the return of his Newmarket Handicap winner Shamexpress he’s also eyeing an early Group win for Adamantium who is set to return on Makybe Diva Stakes Day 2013.
A rising five-year-old, Elusive City gelding Adamantium hasn’t raced since their two race salute at Flemington during the summer.
After a two length effort at Victoria’s premier track in mid-December Adamantium stepped up to Group company for the first time in seven months and was successful when winning the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) on New Year’s Day by an easy margin.
Sent for a well-earned break after that the galloper enjoyed a winning jumpout at Flemington last Friday morning, a nice sign ahead of their spring return in the $150,000 Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) also held down the Flemington straight on September 7.
Their first-up run will then help O’Brien determine where to next and whether they can go onto the next level.
“He’ll probably be heading towards the Bobbie Lewis Quality on Makybe Day,” O’Brien told Racing Victoria.
“He may have a run a couple of weeks before then.
“He looks like he’s come back in good shape.”
One horse that has already reached elite level for O’Brien and who is also on track for a big spring is then his O’Reilly colt Shamexpress.
Upset winner of the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington during the autumn the three-year-old has spent the past couple of months in the UK.
They didn’t make much of an impression over there however finishing ninth to Sole Power in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1005m) at Ascot and most recently seventh to Lethal Force in the Group 1 Darley July Cup (1207m).
O’Brien is willing to put those runs behind him however as he prepares to put Shamexpress back into work in England on Thursday this week.
They are then set to return from their time overseas with a shipment of international stars coming over for the big spring features including the Caulfield Cup (October 19), Cox Plate (October 26) and the iconic Melbourne Cup (November 5) on Grand Final Day.
“If we didn’t stay there we wouldn’t have been able to keep working him,” O’Brien said.
“He would have had three weeks quarantine and two weeks at Eastern Creek, whereas this way he can have an uninterrupted run at the spring.
“He’ll go back into work at Newmarket on the 1st of August and we’ll get him ready there.
“He’ll come up out with the first shipment and he’ll arrive back at Werribee on Grand Final Day.
“We’ll work him at Werribee until we bring him back to Flemington.”
Shamexpress will target the Group 1 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival sprints with their grand final goal likely to be the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, November 9.
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