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Godolphin’s private trainer John O’Shea is “not a fan” of the restructured Sydney Summer Racing Carnival that has forced him to bypass the Christmas and Summer Cups with Saturday’s ATC Cup 2014 winner Malice.
In-form Teofilo four-year-old Malice ($3.40F) enjoyed a final bound win over the Peter Moody-trained Metaphorical ($4.20) at the weekend in the $100,000 Listed ATC Cup (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens.
The photo finish result was the winning gelding’s second straight win at the track, and his first black type success, following an equally narrow victory over Midsummer Sun, Sam Kavanagh’s $6 shot running a distant third over four lengths off Malice in the ATC Cup rematch, over 1900m on November 15.
Jockey Sam Clipperton had the winner perched on the back of Moody’s Dylan Thomas mare Metaphorical, ready to strike on the line on the instruction of O’Shea who had tipped the eventual runner-up to go forward and set the pace.
“I thought Peter [Moody]’s horse would lead so I told Sam not to be afraid of tracking it,” O’Shea told The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday.
“The other day he peeled off backs and made a run around, so today I just told him that we might just track it [Metaphorical] through and change the tactics a bit.”
Those tactics worked, and even though it was a late win, O’Shea was thrilled with the winner’s efforts.
“He’s a great little horse,” he said.
“He’s a son of Teofilo and we don’t have many of them, but they all want to hit the line hard and try.
“I thought he’d just lob past and I was happy to be on him when he went over the line.”
While happy with his horse’s ATC Cup win, O’Shea has opted to send Malice out to the paddock for a freshen-up and will miss the summer majors including the $100,000 Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) at Randwick on December 13 and the $125,000 Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) on Boxing Day.
“It’s all changed now,” O’Shea said.
“The Summer Cup is 2000 metres but it’s four weeks away and there’s no continuity to it.
“I’m not a fan of the restructuring.
“We sat down the other day as a team and tried to figure out what we were going to do. The Summer Cup is a month away and he’d have to trial, so leave me out of that.
“It’s a shame because he’s going very well.”
O’Shea and connections still have a livewire shot in the 2014 Christmas Cup Saturday week however in another Teofilo progeny, four-year-old mare Terai who Clipperton rode to victory at Randwick’s Kensington track over 2400m on November 22.
“We’ve got Terai for the Christmas Cup and she’s a genuine two mile and a half horse,” he said.
As for Malice, he is likely to be tested over the 2400m next time in when Clipperton believes he’ll be better prepared for the distance test.
“It was a tough slog up the running and it was a good battle,” the young hoop said of Saturday’s win.
“I thought I was going to get there at about the 25-metre mark because the horse seemed to lengthen its strife, but I wasn’t sure.
“I yelled and screamed and threw everything at him.
“The leader put in a good kick, but this horse will be a nice stayer next time in. He’s learning each time and he’ll run a further trip next prep.
“The last 50 metres, at the end of a 2000-metre trip, was impressive by my horse and he’s really progressive. He’s won a stakes race now.”
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