When John O’Shea took over the position of head trainer for Godolphin last May he was told to focus on the juvenile team. He now has an impressive team of juveniles that will all be aimed at the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse on March 21.
Leading the charge will be Ottoman and Furnaces but O’Shea has some surprises up his sleeve in the form of Holler and Ghisoni.
“We are looking to qualify as many as possible for the Golden Slipper and will be trying to keep them apart as much as possible,” the trainer told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Being a filly and colt helps for Ottoman and Furnaces and they will be trialling soon and then we will shore up where they will start [their autumn campaigns].
“Furnaces is a little ahead of the filly and he will be at the trials at Rosehill on February 3. Ottoman will be a week later at Warwick Farm on February 9. We want to accumulate as much prizemoney as possible with our two-year-olds and then we will decide which is the best way to go with them. We are not limiting where they could go. The targets are, of course, the big two-year-old races but there is plenty of the water to go under bridge before then.”
Ottoman ($8) and Furnaces ($9) are the top two in the 2015 Golden Slipper futures odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and the only single figure hopefuls at the moment.
Exceed And Excel filly Ottoman overtook his stable mate at the top of the betting after an impressive debut win in the Tab Place Multi Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on December 20 while Furnaces absolutely bolted home to win the Primo Moraitis Plate (1100m) by six and a half lengths back in October.
Holler will make his debut in the Hyland Race Colours Plate (1100m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday after making easy work of a barrier trial on January 6. The colt was beaten a half-length by Haptic but was eight lengths in front of his remaining rivals.
“It was a very good trial from a strong, strapping type that looks like 1400 metres and beyond will be his trip. On the trial, he should be competitive on Saturday, but he is only going to get better with time,” O’Shea said.
“He has shown us enough to say he is a bit above average.
Ghisoni stepped out for the first time on Thursday in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick, beating home a pair of Gai Waterhouse’s summer winners after stretching out in the final 200 metres.
“She is a very smart filly that we think we get to black-type level and that didn’t surprise us,” O’Shea said.
“I think James (McDonald, hoop) was impressed. These horses are important to the operation and they will get their chances in the right races.”
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