It is shaping-up as a huge year for Benjamin...
The Godolphin stable is looking at November’s Sandown Guineas 2016 as a long term spring goal for improving colt Morton’s Fork who won the first at Rosehill Gardens on the weekend.
The two-year-old son of Ad Valorem has had five starts to date and on Saturday enjoyed his second turf triumph in the $85,000 Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1400m) to kick-off Winter Stakes Day.
Coming off back-to-back Randwick seconds over 1200m, the youngster showed potential as a miler with a strong effort in his first look at 1400m.
Morton’s Fork jumped the $2.60 favourite and regular rider Brenton Avdulla continued his association, getting the job done for the punters.
On the line Morton’s Fork had a half-length to spare over the Gerald Ryan-trained Harper’s Choice ($10) while the fellow O’Shea-trained Fanfaron ($12) finished the same distance back again for third to round out the trifecta.
Morton’s Fork will now head out for a spell ahead of a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival return where he’ll be stepped up to a mile, while Saturday’s third placed Helmet gelding Fanfaron will race again in a fortnight’s time.
“Morton’s Fork will go for a spell tomorrow for a week,” O’Shea told The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday.
“He is a miler and races like the Carbine Club and Sandown Guineas could be nice races for him. There is a race for Fanfaron in two weeks over 1500m.”
The $200,000 Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) runs at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day on October 29, the opening of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, while the $250,000 Group 3 Sandown Guineas (1600m) is scheduled for November 12.
Also likely to back-up in the 1500m Sydney race in two weeks are Saturday’s unplaced duo of High Mist (4th), who was luckless throughout never getting into the clear, and Jason Coyle’s still-green son of Hinchinbrook Salsonic (8th).
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