The John O’Shea-trained Vaskha is tipped to atone for an unplaced run at Rosehill Gardens last start when returning to the track this weekend for a run as the favourite in the Shannon Stakes 2015 on Golden Pendant Day.
Godolphin’s Exceed And Excel five-year-old Vashka ran a competitive third to Decision Time when beaten under half a length on August 22 at Randwick in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m).
Things went amiss last time out a fortnight back however when he could only manage to finish midfield crossing 3.6 lengths away seventh to Chris Waller’s classy Epsom Handicap-bound mare Winx in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m).
This weekend Vashka gets Sam Clipperton in the saddle and is tipped to return to his ace form from last spring – summer season when winning five on the trot including four at Rosehill giving him now a four from five record at the track he sees again on Saturday in the $175,000 Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m).
Vashka pays $4.80 in the latest Shannon Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and is joined at single figures by five of his 10 rivals including $5 second pick Ninth Legion and Akavoroun ($6) who occupies the third line of betting.
The Team Hawkes-trained Fastnet Rock six-year-old Ninth Legion has a good second-up record (7-2-2-1) he looks to add to on the weekend after finishing a nice third in the Theo Marks just a quarter length off the winner.
Akavoroun is also second-up on Saturday, Ciaron Maher’s Caulfield-based Victorian visitor’s first-up run being a nice second to Disposition in a Moonee Valley black-type from September 12.
The Shannon Stakes is the gelding’s first ever Sydney run and how the lightly-raced six-year-old, who has won six of his 15 starts to date, handles the opposite way of racing will be key to his chances.
The next best in betting are then another Hawkes’ Racing runner Messene ($8) drawn nicely in barrier three shooting for his first win since March last year when taking out the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at the same track and distance, stablemate God’s In Him ($8) who comes off a hat-trick of wins on the trot including a 1400m Rosehill win from September 12 and the Chris Waller-trained Areion stallion Flamingo Star ($8.50).
The market mover meanwhile is Waller’s veteran 10-year-old I’m Imposing ($13 into $10), third in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) back in May, who is followed in the markets by the in-form David Payne-trained son of High Chaparral Foreign Prince ($12) who boasts a 50% Place Rate at Rosehill.
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