The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Randwick-based trainer John O’Shea is gearing up for a massive Sydney Spring Carnival with two of his rising three-year-olds set for the 2011 Golden Rose including More Than Ready filly and Golden Slipper placegetter Elite Falls.
The richest race of the season in Sydney, the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) will take centre stage at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday September 10.
Early Golden Rose odds are already out, with Peter Snowden’s star colt Sepoy topping the markets.
Two other highly-fancied gallopers in the Golden Rose futures betting are the O’Shea trained stablemates Foxwedge and Elite Falls.
Talented Fastnet Rock colt Foxwedge began his spring preparations last week with a winning hit-out over 728 metres at Randwick with Nash Rawiller aboard.
Rawiller rode Foxwedge for all three of their autumn starts that included a big win in The Clarry Conners Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm, a game third behind Smart Missile in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill and their seventh place finish behind Sepoy in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) last start on April 2.
Elite Falls also had a similarly impressive first racing season during 2010-11 as a two-year-old.
To date she has won two of her seven career starts, including the Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in March.
She also boasts three minor placings all at Group level including her gallant third behind Sepoy and Mosheen in the Golden Slipper showdown.
Unlike Foxwedge, Elite Falls continued on after her brave Slipper performance when she finished less than two lengths away seventh behind the Darley-owned Helmet in the Group 1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 9.
O’Shea has pencilled in Foxwedge’s first-up run as the $1250,000 Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 13.
Elite Falls, who is also coming along very well according to O’Shea, will resume a week later.
“She will probably trial in the next few weeks,” O’Shea said.
“I’ll give her the one trial and she’ll go first-up into the Silver Shadow.”
The $125,000 Group 3 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) takes place at Warwick Farm on August 20.
O’Shea also confirmed that along with the Golden Rose 2011, Elite Falls would also target more Group 1 glory during the spring with the $400,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 1 another major aim.
“She will go the conventional fillies’ path to the Flight Stakes,” O’Shea said.
Elite Falls has been ridden by four different jockeys so far, but grand-slam winning hoop Jim Cassidy has been aboard for her most recent three including both of her Group 1 assignments.
It is expected that Cassidy will retain riding honours on the promising filly during the spring.
“I’m riding for anyone that wants me; John O’Shea, he has got Elite Falls coming back,” Cassidy said.
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