Godolphin trainer John O’Shea is quietly confident Bow Creek can salute for the Australian Cup 2016 punters on ‘Super Saturday’, but said how the import handles his first look at Flemington Racecourse will be the test.
Shamardal five-year-old Bow Creek broke his maiden status down under last time out when scoring a solid one and a half-length win in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 27.
The two weeks between runs into the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) looks ideal, the stallion sitting top of the markets to win the elite level through Ladbrokes.com.au at a current quote of $3.50.
He is drawn the outside alley jumping from barrier 10 of 10, the field losing Mourinho as an early scratching.
Bow Creek and jockey Damien Oliver, who retains the ride this weekend, didn’t have the perfect run in the Peter Young Stakes getting stuck in traffic, but once the horse saw daylight he blitzed the field and left them all chasing.
The Peter Young Stakes form has stacked up in the Australian Cup more than any other lead-up, Bow Creek out to complete the double for the second time in three years following the success of the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente (2014).
O’Shea is confident Bow Creek is in the right form to win, despite the galloper as yet untested over the 2000m or at Flemington.
“I know the bookmakers have him short considering his form but he’s yet to win at Flemington and that’s always a consideration. But having said that, he’s pleased us and has gone ahead since his last win,” O’Shea told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We’ve always made it our number one priority. That’s why he went to Melbourne, to be specifically groomed for the race.”
O’Shea also has plenty of respect for Bow Creek’s rivals in the Australian Cup field this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival including the market mover Preferment ($5.50) from the Chris Waller and the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Caulfield Cup placegetter Our Ivanhowe ($6) second-up from barrier one.
Another test for Bow Creek will be how he handles the likely slow pace on Saturday, O’Shea hoping the tempo is quicker than a speed map suggests with Oaks winner Rising Romance or the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained Awesome Rock – fourth in the Peter Young – bringing some tempo.
Looking further ahead, O’Shea said Bow Creek would head to Sydney for ‘The Championships’ in April where a showdown with Waller’s champion mare Winx in the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick was a possibility.
“I don’t like getting ahead of myself but let’s get the Australian Cup out of the way and then have a look at some events in Sydney during the Championships,” he said.
To back Bow Creek in the Australian Cup and check out the full futures markets for the upcoming Sydney features like the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes head to our preferred online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au today!