Godolphin’s head trainer John O’Shea is confident his unplaced Blue Diamond Stakes runner Sampeah can improve when up over more distance in the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes 2015 at Flemington Racecourse this ‘Super Saturday’.
The Exceed And Excel colt is one of 17 two-year-olds nominated for this weekend’s $200,000 Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), the set weights race running as one of seven Group race highlights on the Newmarket Handicap / Australian Cup Day card.
Sampeah is the sole entry for O’Shea, the youngster having won one of his three career starts to date.
That was in Sydney on debut last November before he returned on February 14 at Caulfield to run third to the ill-fated Of The Brave in the Group 3 Blue Diamond (C&G) Prelude (1100m).
He backed up from that run back at Caulfield a fortnight later in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) as a $16 shot, but could only manage to run five lengths away eighth behind the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained winner Pride Of Dubai.
This weekend Sampeah will be tested over 1400m for the first time in the Sires’ Produce, a distance O’Shea is confident the youngster will appreciate as he gets back to his home track.
O’Shea was far from disappointed with the Blue Diamond run from the up-and-comer, the stable’s Melbourne foreman David Charles telling Racenet on Tuesday that the more expansive Flemington course will be the key to better form this Saturday.
“The Diamond was a high pressure race and we are very happy with our horse going into the weekend,” he said.
“He lost touch a little bit with the first half of the field and was left chasing.
“Coming here (Flemington) to the 1400 metres on the flat galloping track will suit much better.”
The run will be a test looking further ahead this autumn with a return to Sydney during The Championships possible after Sampeah was one of 70 first acceptances taken for the $1 million Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 4.
Sampeah was put through his paces on Tuesday morning on the steeple grass over 1000m and ran a smart 1:06.11 seconds, including his final 400m sectional in 24.11 seconds to further prove he was ready to improve on his Diamond run.
“He’s come on really well since that last run and we think the 1400 metre tempo will suit on Saturday.” Charles added.
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