John O’Shea has named the 2015 The BMW as the grand final Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival goal for former European Contributer who is one of a host of new season stars on trial at Randwick Racecourse on Thursday.
The Godolphin stable will trial plenty of autumn hopefuls in Sydney this week including High Chaparral stallion Contributer who has had just the two runs down under.
Formerly prepared in Europe by Ed Dunlop, who trained him to win two Listed features during 2013 – 2014, the now five-year-old won his maiden start in Australia for O’Shea.
He took out the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 18, Caulfield Cup Day, running away over the final few hundred metres to score by a length with James McDonald aboard.
Next start he went straight to elite level company for the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8 during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
McDonald retained the ride but the duo missed the kick and couldn’t fall into a comfortable stride eventually finishing four lengths away eighth to Hucklebuck.
Spelled after that, Contriubter has his first official trial since on Friday in an open 1050m hit-out where he will face the likes of Chris Waller’s Myer Classic placegetter Catkins, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Tattersall’s Tiara winner Cosmic Endeavour and Peter & Paul Snowden’s Caulfield Guineas champ Shooting To Win.
It’s a star-studded line-up in heat three at 8:35am (local) then with O’Shea hoping for a fair effort from his import, who will be ridden by McDonald once again, ahead of the horse’s first-up effort.
“I was thinking of going to Flemington for the Australian Cup but that track is too firm for him,” O’Shea told Racenet this week.
“I am more likely to keep him here, follow a traditional weight-for-age path, aiming towards the Group I Ranvet, one week before the BMW.”
The $500,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) runs at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 followed by the $1.5 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) back at the track seven days later.
O’Shea’s stable foreman Darren Beadman was thrilled with the condition of The BWM-bound galloper after his spell saying he was going “really well”.
“He looks as good now as he did when he came over from England, when he won down in Melbourne. He looks really, really well,” the former champion hoop said.
There’s also a chance Contributer will continue onto the autumn’s major showcase race in Sydney, the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), also run under weight-for-age conditions at Royal Randwick on April 11.
Futures Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Japanese raider To The World ($5) while Contributer can be found at $21.
To back your autumn favourites at the hottest odds over the coming months head to Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $250 bonus sign-up bet for new depositing players that use the exclusive code BETBONUS this season!