2013 Cox Plate Champion Shamus Award has led from start to finish to claim the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse this afternoon.
After jumping particularly well, Shamus Award took up the pace from the get-go, holding strong position throughout and entering the final straight ahead of Eurozone.
Having easily snuffed out that challenge of Bart and James Cummings’ star three-year-old, Shamus Award continued to power and open the gap, eventually finishing a near two-lengths ahead of Criterion and Thunder Fantasy.
Trainer Danny O’Brien said he was particularly impressed with the way Shamus Award has now not only completed the Cox Plate/Australian Guineas double, but also led each from start to finish.
“It was a very important race and I’ve said that for the last two months; we really wanted to come and win this” O’Brien said.
“He’s done what very few three-year-olds have done winning a cox plate, but to back it up with a Guineas it puts him in very rare air.
“He’s a magnificent individual.
“He’s led all the way in a cox plate and he’s led all the way in an Australian Guineas and that’s pretty hard to do.”
Having also included Shamus Award in nominations for next week’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), O’Brien said the Guineas win has opened up many more options on the way to an appearance in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (200m) in April.
“We’ve definitely got one eye on this year’s cox plate; obviously it’s not often you get you chance to win a second as a four-year-old, so we’d definitely be keen to be back there later in the year” O’Brien added.
“We’re really please we’ve got this on the board and now we’ve got plenty more options to come.”
Jockey Craig Williams made it two-straight wins at Flemington after taking out the Group 3 TAB Rewards Stakes (1400m) with Mouro only 30 minutes earlier, and was quick to lay all the praise on the talented Snitzel colt.
“It’s fantastic, they’ve done a great job” Williams said after dismounting.
“He’s just a really, really tough horse. I just had to trust him today; I asked him to go a long way out and he did a really good job today.
“He’s backed up well in the past when we saw him in the Cox Plate, so we’ll see what they’ll do” Williams added in relation to the Australian Cup.
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2014 Group 1 Australian Guineas Results
|1||1||SHAMUS AWARD||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||–||9||56.5kg||$4.60|
|2||2||CRITERION (NZ)||David Payne||Brad Rawiller||1L||4||56.5kg||$11|
|3||4||THUNDER FANTASY||Anthony Cummings||Mark Zahra||1.2L||6||56.5kg||$15|
|4||3||EUROZONE||Bart & James Cummings||Glen Boss||1.7L||5||56.5kg||$4.60|
|5||9||TERONADO||Bruce W Hill||Craig Newitt||1.8L||14||56.5kg||$26|
|6||8||SURGE AHEAD||Anthony Cummings||Chris Symons||1.9L||1||56.5kg||$61|
|7||6||PRINCE HARADA||Tony Vasil||Corey Brown||2.1L||7||56.5kg||$15|
|8||5||HUCKLEBUCK||Phillip Stokes||Dom Tourneur||2.6L||8||56.5kg||$3.80F|
|9||11||LATE CHARGE||Wendy Kelly||Vlad Duric||2.8L||12||56.5kg||$51|
|10||7||ROCK HERO||David Payne||Michael Rodd||5.8L||10||56.5kg||$19|
|11||10||THE QUARTERBACK||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||6L||11||56.5kg||$14|
|12||13||BARDEM (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||7.25L||2||56.5kg||$61|
|13||14||ARTIE’S SHORE||Matthew Williams||Jamie Mott||8.75L||3||56.5kg||$101|
|14||12||ALPHA BEAT||Anthony Cummings||Chad Schofield||9.5L||13||56.5kg||$81|