Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
2013 Cox Plate Champion Shamus Award was unable to justify his favouritism in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) first-up on February 8th, however trainer Danny O’Brien is confident the three-year-old will be hard to beat in this weekend’s Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) after completing a strong hit-out at Moonee Valley last week.
Galloping well over 1400 metres, O’Brien told Racing Victoria News he is anticipating a well-polished run by the talented Snitzel colt on Saturday and will be much better for the first-up run three weeks ago.
“I’m not a form analyst, but I would suspect that the Orr Stakes would be the strongest race of the lead up races” O’Brien said.
“It was weight-for-age against Moment Of Change, who’s racing as well as anything in Melbourne at the moment.
“I think both the colts’ runs were full of merit in the Orr and no doubt it was the highest-pressure 1400 race that they’ve run so far this summer.
“I expect it will stand them in good stead when they come back for the Guineas against their own age.”
Having slowly built to the task in the 2013 spring, a busy autumn campaign is on the cards for Shamus Award with O’Brien revealing a tilt at the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) only one week later as a strong possibility, depending on Saturday’s result.
“He’s definitely a chance to run” he added.
“We’ve left the opportunity to do it by only having the one run leading into the Guineas.
“If he runs up to expectations in the Guineas then he’s more likely than not to take on the older horses in the Australian Cup.”
Shamus Award is currently the $6 third-favourite and market mover at Ladbrokes.com.au for 2014 Australian Guineas success at Flemington on Saturday behind exciting gelding Hucklebuck ($3.80) and in-form three-year-old Eurozone ($4.20).
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