In-form jockey Sam Clipperton wrapped up a feature race double at Rosehill today with Vashka returning to winning form in the Group 2 $175,000 Leonay Plumbing Shannon Stakes (1500m).
Clipperton won the previous race on the program for his old boss Ron Quintin when Peeping took out the Group 2 $400,000 Ronald McDonald House Westmead Golden Pendant (1400m) .
The John O’Shea trained Vashka strung together five wins as he worked his way up through the classes at the end of Spring last year and over the Summer period but has been struggling to fine that form at two runs this campaign.
But a positive ride from Clipperton had the Exceed And Excel five year old in the firing line from the outset and he proved too strong in the straight to score a tough win.
Vashka ($7.50) hit the front shortly after straightening and held off all the challenges to score by a neck from God’s In Him ($7.50) with Messene ($10) a close up third.
Favourite Akavoroun ($4.40) raced midfield but failed to run on in the straight and was beaten two and three quarter lengths into ninth place.
“Very impressive this horse,” Clipperton said.
“He hasn’t had a chance to race like he likes to race, bowling along. Today I was able to do that, probabaly would have rather been leading but he would have done too much work to get to the lead.”
“He settled okay outside of the leader and he was there to be beaten the last furlong and to his credit he hung on well.”
“He performs well at this track and I was very confidence about his chances.”
Even though the winner of the Shannon Stakes is exempt from the ballot and any penalty for The Star Epsom, stable representative Darren Beadman said that it would be unlikely that Vashka would back up next week in the $1m Group 1 Handicap run over the famous Randwick mile.
“I’m sure there will be something over the carnival for him,” Beadman said.
Shannon Stakes results
|1||9||VASHKA||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||–||8||53kg||$7.50|
|2||11||GOD’S IN HIM||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||0.2L||5||53kg||$7.50|
|3||3||MESSENE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||0.5L||3||58.5kg||$10|
|4||6||FLAMINGO STAR (GER)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||0.7L||4||56.5kg||$6|
|5||10||FOREIGN PRINCE (NZ)||David Payne||Ms Kathy O’Hara||2.1L||6||53kg||$21|
|6||4||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||2.3L||2||58kg||$5.50|
|7||1||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Rory Hutchings (a)||2.4L||1||59kg||$61|
|8||5||I’M IMPOSING (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||2.6L||7||57.5kg||$8|
|9||7||AKAVOROUN||Ciaron Maher||Glyn Schofield||2.7L||9||54kg||$4.40F|
|10||8||WOULDNT IT BE NICE||Paul Perry||Thomas Huet||4.9L||11||53.5kg||$51|
|11||2||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||9.3L||10||58.5kg||$21|