Godolphin’s private trainer John O’Shea is facing the envious conundrum of what to do and where to go with the stables imposing host of two-year-olds, with plans for their top Golden Slipper 2015-bound hope Ottoman to run in the Silver Slipper Stakes later this month.
Gai Waterhouse’s Canonbury Stakes winning colt Vancouver heads the futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $7 to win the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
He is followed in the markets by the O’Shea-trained duo of Ottoman ($8) and Furnaces ($10).
O’Shea knows just how strong the operation’s juvenile contingent is this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival heading towards the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, and said the team is working out the best way to get their top chances to the Golden Slipper in peak form.
“I think the best way to approach this is, we’re trying to grad them to the best of our ability and give the best chances of a Golden Slipper win the best opportunity in the race,” he said on Sky Sports Radio’s Racing HQ program on Thursday.
“It’s well documented that I’m honoured to be in this role.
“It’s a wonderful scenario to be in.”
He also said that 17 Golden Slipper second acceptances the stable paid up for at the latest stage of declarations this week, the bookmakers and futures betting markets looked as good as what he and connections could predict.
“I think the market has them as good as we can sort them out,” O’Shea said.
“With Ottoman and Furnaces at the top, that’s a good placing.”
Plans are starting to be set in stone for the autumn campaigns and Slipper lead-ups of all the young stablemates including Ottoman who will run first-up on February 21 in the $250,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
Exceed And Excel filly Ottoman won a Warwick Farm trial in early December before a strong debut to win over the same track and distance she’ll be tested over again in the Silver Slipper after a trial on Monday morning.
The Silver Slipper Stakes is also the preferred next-up option for $26 Golden Slipper chance Holler, the Commands colt having won over 1100m at Randwick in the Hyland Race Colours Plate on debut on January 17.
While the Golden Slipper price is juicy, Holler is being spruiked by many as the stable’s best hope with plenty of improvement in him.
“Holler’s such a big, powerful colt and has a lot of quality,” O’Shea admitted.
“He’s another one that needs that little bit of racing to season him.
“He’s not always going to have everything go his way (like he did on debut) going into a Golden Slipper.”
Furnaces meanwhile is one of four for Godolphin set to face off Saturday week in the $125,000 Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Randwick on Apollo Stakes Day.
The Exceed And Excel colt won over the distance at Rosehill back on Cox Plate Day during the spring and showed he was ready to resume with an eye-catching trial win over 903m on Tuesday at the track of his successful debut.
While he won the trial, O’Shea believes Furnaces would have benefited more from being ridden off the pace in the hit-out where he was never really tested.
“I just would have preferred him to have a day out that he would have derived a bit more benefit from,” he said.
“He did it too easy. He didn’t’ learn anything.
“Now he’s going to front up in a race in 10 days’ time (the Lonhro Plate) where there’s going to be some horses that have had a bit of racing and be a bit fitter than him.
“That may leave him a little vulnerable going into the race first-up.”
Also Lonhro Plate-bound for O’Shea is $17 Golden Slipper fancy Calaverite along with a further two stablemates.
Lonhro filly Calaverite ran third in her first trial of the season this week, her first official appearance since a win on debut in the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on October 4, and will race exclusively in Sydney this autumn.
Check out the full futures Golden Slipper 2015 odds online now at Ladbrokes.com.au and get behind you favourite young guns before markets and prices firm over the coming weeks.
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