Godolphin’s last start Civic Stakes winner Haussmann could be the latest Winter Stakes 2015 field casualty with trainer John O’Shea on weather watch ahead of the weekend.
The in-form son of Commands was last seen beating home a field of similar rivals in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) run at a Heavy (8) Rosehill course on July 4.
It was a narrow effort a fortnight ago with 54kg from barrier one, and one O’Shea is hopeful of the five-year-old repeating when returning to Rosehill for Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Sydney Markets Limited Winter Stakes (1400m).
There’s a chance though Haussmann, current third favourite in the Winter Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, could scratch out of the field with Rosehill currently a Heavy (8) with a downgrade before Saturday possible as more rain is predicted to fall.
“The way the forecast is, we could be looking at a (Heavy) 10 more than anything else,” Australian Turf Club racecourse manager Lindsay Murphy confirmed.
The galloper has a wide barrier, coming in from 11 to 10 with the early scratching of Royal Island (3), and also goes up three kilograms from his Civic Stakes winning weight to 57kg this weekend.
While the booking of James McDonald to ride is a plus, and the bookies have Haussmann rated a $6 chance behind Civic Stakes runner-up Two Blue ($4.20) and Chris Waller’s market mover You’ll Never ($4.60), O’Shea isn’t convinced the horse will run.
It is the track conditions he is most concerned about, O’Shea cautious about running Haussmann on another Heavy track despite his win on the rain-affected Rosehill circuit a fortnight ago.
“He’s probably doubtful. I know he won on the heavy the other day but I thought it was a very conservative track rating,” O’Shea said told AAP on Thursday.
“When (Godolphin racing manager) Darren (Beadman) walked the track he thought the ground on the rail was just slow, that’s why we rode him like we did.
“I don’t think Haussmann is overly effective on really heavy ground.”
Haussmann would be the latest added to a growing list of horses withdrawn from the Winter Stakes Day line-up for the Godolphin stable.
O’Shea has already taken a full sister to three-time Group 1 winner Helmet, Pearls, out of Race 3 – $85,000 Bob Ingham Handicap (1100m).
He is also hesitant to run McDonald’s mount in the same race Inner Circle on the wet track, the progressive Street Cry colt tracking towards a run in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on September 12.
As mentioned, the Winter Stakes betting markets have Kristen Buchanan’s Dubleo mare Two Blue as the favourite after her strong efforts around Sydney this time in.
The six-year-old is also a known mudlark with an excellent Heavy-track record of two wins, three seconds and a third from seven runs.
The Wyong-based Buchanan is full of confidence heading into the Black-Type on Saturday with Two Blue, who is one of only 15 horses in work for her, drawn ideally in gate six with Paul King to ride.
“Things are going really well, I just hope I can keep the momentum going,” Buchanan said.
“The horse is well, she’s ready to go and I’m happy with the barrier draw.”
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