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A noted performer in two-year-old events in the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival, trainer John O’Shea has confirmed Ghibellines will be set towards the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October.
A half-brother to now retired filly Guelph, O’Shea is confident Ghibellines is capable of recreating similar feats to that of the daughter of Exceed And Excel, who most notably took out two major Group 1 races for three-year-old fillies through the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
Performing well over just five competitive starts through his maiden racing preparation, O’Shea told TVN Ghibellines has reportedly taken well to time in the spelling paddock; the Shamardal colt has returned to light work and will slowly be brought back to peak racing condition.
“He looks to have really come on,” O’Shea said.
“He is definitely a Caulfield Guineas horse in the stable.
“He’ll be trained for the best three-year-old races.”
Unlucky to finish fourth when blocked for a run in the final straight of the Listed Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate (1000m) on debut in October, Ghibellines returned to the track in exceptional form this season; finishing third in the Listed Canonbury Stakes (1100m) first-up and fifth amongst classy company in the Listed Black Opal Stakes (1200m) before breaking through for a maiden race win when beating Unencumbered to the line by nearly two lengths in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m).
Finishing mid-pack in the featured Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) last time out on April 5th, O’Shea is yet to saddle Ghibellines competitively having only taken over the Darley Australia stables from Peter Snowden in May.
One of several rising three-year-olds who have already been set for a tilt at the 2014 Caulfield Guineas, Ghibellines is currently offered at particularly generous odds of $21 in early betting markets for success on October 11th, sharing the sixth line of betting with six other possible contenders.
Breaking through for a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) on June 7th, Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad is currently sole occupant of the top line of betting to win the 2014 Caulfield Guineas at $8.50 odds, ahead of Chivalry and Looks Like The Cat, each on $11.
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