Perth breeders Lex and Shirley Piper
had a winning start to their east coast holiday when Kencella proved too speedy
for his rivals at Rosehill.
James McDonald made it a double for the afternoon,
adopting catch-me-if-you-can tactics on Kencella.
''He was told to let him run
and that is what he did,'' Lex said. ''We came here for this and Eladdair,
which is out of the same mare, on Wednesday at Randwick. Then we are going to
the Magic Millions where we are selling one, lot 789 out of Danza Doll by
It continued a great start to the year for McDonald, who went home to
New Zealand on New Year's Day and rode a treble, before backing up with a
double at Wyong.
While most people have been enjoying a Christmas/New Year break from work, our team of stable hands, track riders, jockeys, foremen and horses haven't skipped a beat.
One of the infamous phrases in racing circles, "the horses don't know it's Christmas" is so true and much like with children, the horses still need feeding, exercise and attention throughout the festive season.
Everyone's hard work certainly hasn't gone unnoticed with our runners for 2014 to date scoring winning doubles at Randwick and Wyong.
This weekend the stable will saddle up 5 runners between Rosehill and Kembla Grange and one can only hope that the strong performances keep coming.
Kencella will line up in the 1100m Rosehill event, hoping to return to his winning form. He was very unlucky to be beaten by a nod on the line at his last start on the Canterbury track. Considering James McDonald has ridden the all four of his mounts for the stable to victory and has steered Kencella around in two winning trials to date, we think he's the right man for the job.
Gangster's Choice has attracted some early attention with punters snapping up the starting price of $10, current odds, according to Racenet.com.au, are now at $7. Being a notorious 'dry-tracker' it comes as a relief that the track has been rated a Good 3. With "the Gangster" also drawing a decent barrier and having stable jockey James McDonald on board, he will be expected to feature in the finish.
At Kembla Grange, runners Shravan and Spiritriser Bean will both carry the stable colours and Tempo Man's chances of making the final field won't be confirmed until after the final scratchings on race-morning.
Back to business at Randwick for John O'Shea following Darley anouncement
Following the big announcement that John O'Shea will replace Peter Snowden as head trainer for Darley Australia, it's back to business here as normal.
O'Shea will continue his duties at Randwick headquarters until May 2014, with both trainers opting to see their stables through the Autumn Carnival.
There are currently 75 horses in training, which are all gearing up for big Autumn racing programs.
John has emphasised that he is "very optimistic" about his stables’ chances for the upcoming Carnival and is looking forward to making the most of the new Championships races on offer.
Watch this space as we continue to update you on the quest for Autumn winners!
2013 Festival Stakes result – White Sage again
O'Shea-trained White Sage was a convincing winner in the Listed Festival Stakes
(1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday, stamping her authority for the autumn riches
that lie ahead.
From the outside
barrier, White Sage had her share of doubters but a composed ride from James
McDonald ensured the pint-sized mare found the front and stayed there.
In the home straight,
White Sage found another gear and kicked away from the field, comfortably
holding the second favourite, Terravista, at bay.
O'Shea will now send
the mare for a well-deserved break after maintaining her unbeaten status from
The Coolmore Classic
is shaping as O'Shea's primary target, electing to not run in the Group II
Villiers Stakes and save her for the autumn.
"It was very
impressive and a great ride from James McDonald from the wide gate,"
"She's a stakes
winner now and her main goal will be to compete in the feature races over the
autumn, there are some lovely races for her.
"She's beat the
boys today and she will go back to mares' grade in the Coolmore."
White Sage ($3 fav)
was ridden by James McDonald and defeated the Joe Pride-trained Terravista ($5)
by two lengths with Alma's Fury ($19) from the Paul Murray stable, 1-3/4
lengths away in third.
Tom Walter - www.racenet.com.au - 30th November, 2013
Recent Racing Highlights
Thanks to TVN, we can now view the final 400 metres of metropolitan races. For full race viewing, you can subscribe to the Racing Network at http://www.racingnetwork.com.au/
Here are some of the most memorable racing moments from the past few month:
White Sage - Rosehill Cellarbrations Scone Handicap - 16th November
(Race 3 - 1min 15)
Bernabeu - Flemington Schwepps #flemingtonfling - 5th November
(Race 5 - 3 mins 43)
Savvy Nature - Moonee Valley Vase - 26th October
(Race 5 - 2 mins 54)
What a Melbourne Carnival it was!
With the whole team returned to Sydney's Randwick base, we reflect on the time in Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival.
An 11-strong string of horses travelled to Melbourne to complete their spring campaigns against some of the best competition racing has to offer. During the Carnival, those horses ran in a total of 18 races including three Group I races, seven Group II races and four Group III races.
In return, the team celebrated three wins and two placings (which if we're going to get technical correlate to a 'first three finish' strike-rate of 38%).
Stable staff, Timothy Benn and Helen Smith provided one of the best ‘away-from-home' support-networks any racehorse could hope for, as their responsibilities were to tend to the John O'Shea-trained runners, night and day, during their time at Flemington.
O'Shea usually tries to divide his time equally between Flemington and Randwick over the carnival, which means lots of flying down and back throughout the week to catch different trials, jump outs, track work and
This year, two Champion Thoroughbreds runners made the trip to Melbourne. Lightinthenite is a well-performed anti-clockwise runner, having competed in the G3 Coongy, Listed Jubilee & G3 Queen Elizabeth last campaign, while Diamond Oasis had having his first interstate campaign.
Cox Plate weekend was undoubtedly one of the highlights for the stable, with Gypsy Diamond taking out the Fillies Classic on Manikato night, closely followed by Savvy Nature securing the win in the Moonee Valley Vase on the Saturday. The two horses were programmed to run in the Oaks and Derby respectively although their performances at Moonee Valley proved to be their best work.
There were a few raised eyebrows when Bernabeu found himself Melbourne-bound and nominated but O'Shea was convinced the gelding would be ultra-competitive in the sprint race up the Flemington straight on Cup day. Sure enough, the son of Fastnet Rock dashed away from the competition to win by 3.25 lengths for his owners, the Crismale family.
All-in-all this year's Melbourne campaign will be an unforgettable experience for many of our owners and the team are already looking forward to next year.
** POSTPONED Randwick Trials **
Please note that the Randwick barrier trials originally scheduled for Monday 18th November have been delayed due to continuing rain.
At first the ATC announced that they would be postponed to Tuesday 19th and after further rain they have once again been delayed. The trials will now be held on Thursday 21st November.
The stable entries are as follows:
Heat 2 - 8.25am - GRENACHE - Nash Rawiller
Heat 3 - 8.35am - CARMINE KING - Jason Collett
Heat 3 - 8.35am - PIETRA - Blake Shinn
Heat 3 - 8.35am - TARGET IN SIGHT - Peter Robl
Heat 4 - 8.45am - FIRST CLASS FLYER - Glyn Schofield
Heat 4 - 8.45am - NUMBER ONE GUN - Jason Collett
Heat 4 - 8.45am - SHRAVAN - Nash Rawiller
Heat 5 - 8.55am - PRETTY IN PARIS - Nash Rawiller
Heat 6 - 9.05am - ACORKER - Jason Collett
Heat 7 - 9.15am - CENTRE PIVOT - Nash Rawiller
Heat 9 - 9.35am - KURO - Jason Collett
Heat 10 - 9.45am - MERCURIAN - Nash Rawiller
Heat 12 - 10.05am - MORE THAN BRAVE - Jason Collett
Heat 13 - 10.15am - THE PLAYROOM - Jason Collett
Heat 15 - 10.35am - CRAMMING - Jason Collett
Heat 17 - 10.55am - SUPPOSING - Jason Collett
The Championships: ATC announces $18.2 million two-day racing series in Sydney
The Australian Turf Club has unveiled plans for an $18 million racing championship to be run across two Saturdays in Sydney next April.
Dubbed The Championships, the two days will feature eight Group One races as part of a reorganised autumn carnival headlined by the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
The NSW Government has contributed $10 million to the series, which Racing Minister George Souris
predicts will raise more than $40 million for the state's economy.
"We have selected three iconic races and enhanced them to make them the richest of their type in the world," he said.
April 12, 2014
$9.6 million Doncaster Mile (1,600m)
$3 million TJ Smith Stakes (1,200m)
$2.5 million Australian Derby (2,400m)
$2 million Sires' Produce Stakes (1,400m)
$1 million plus Chairman's Quality, Adrian Knox Stakes, Kindergarten Stakes, PJ Bell Stakes, Carbine Club Stakes
April 19, 2014
$8.6 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2,000m)
$4 million Sydney Cup (3,200m)
$1 million Australian Oaks (2,400m)
$1 million Queen Of The Turf (1,500m)
$1 million Royal Sovereign Stakes (1,200m)
$500,000 Princess Stakes (1,200m)
$500,000 plus Sapphire Stakes, South Pacific Classic, Fernhill Handicap.
"These are the Doncaster Mile, the world's richest mile race now worth $3 million, the TJ Smith Stakes, the world's richest open sprint race at $2.5 million, and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, at $4 million becoming the world's richest 2,000-metre turf race."
Racing NSW has landed a decisive blow in its bid to own Australia's autumn racing spotlight.
It is understood discussions about a prize money surge for the Sydney autumn carnival had been ongoing for some time, but an announcement was held over until after the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Racing NSW boss John Messara believes The Championships will be able to attract a strong contingent of overseas runners, helping lift its global profile.
"We have identified 10 championship races across various age and distance ranges which are the highlight of these two days," he said.
"Eight of those races are already Group One events, and with the injection of almost $10 million, this program will lure the finest horses from Australia and New Zealand and from other countries across the globe.
"Our goal is for this to become the greatest event for racing in the southern hemisphere."
A further $2.3 million has been provided to boost prize money for support races in key lead-ups to The Championships.
Among them, the George Ryder Stakes will be moved forward a week to Rosehill Guineas day and is now worth $1 million.
The Sydney autumn carnival now boasts two of Australia's richest three races; the $4m Queen Elizabeth and $3.5m Golden Slipper trail only the $6.2m Melbourne Cup.
Astute trainer John O'Shea says Lester Grace "deserves the opportunity" to ride one of the stable's better horses in White Sage when the undefeated filly steps out in Saturday's Cellarbrations Scone Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill.
O'Shea watched Grace partner Kencella to victory for him at Wednesday's Warwick Farm meeting describing the ride as "smart" after the jockey tracked a wide path throughout.
"He didn't push to the horse to find the rail. He kept him in his comfort zone and probably in the better going," O'Shea said.
From barrier one on Saturday, the 3kg claiming apprentice could find himself the target of rival hoops but O'Shea says he's ready to prove himself "on a good horse in a good race".
"Lester's done plenty of work on our horses and he's come a long way," he said.
"He deserves the chance to ride a nice horse like this."
White Sage is three from three, winning each of her starts by a combined total of 14 lengths, and has been penalised accordingly after the handicapper allotted her 59.5kg for Saturday's race.
"Certainly Lester's 3kg off will help. It means she carries the same weight as she did in her last start win in the same grade," he said.
"We'll get through Saturday before making any plans for her but she's got ability and looks to have a bright future. Bit like her rider."
The sight of Complacent bounding off the turf at Flemington yesterday morning did nothing to boost the confidence of trainer John O'Shea, who is preparing Victoria Derby rival Savvy Nature.
The Peter Snowden-trained Complacent has beaten Savvy Nature in the Gloaming Stakes and Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney and looms as the horse to beat in Saturday's $1.5 million race.
"One of the first things I saw this morning was him (Complacent) coming off the track bouncing," O'Shea said.
"He's obviously feeling very good. Peter will have him trained to the minute. He'll be well ridden and well prepared, so we're going to have to really step up to the plate if we want to win."
O'Shea is hoping Savvy Nature can turn the tables on Complacent in the race he's been aimed at all preparation.
"He's been set for one race and right at the moment it seems to be right on track," he said.
Savvy Nature joined Complacent as derby favourite with victory in last Saturday's Group 2 Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley, a race Snowden decided he didn't need to run Complacent in to have him at his best for Saturday.
O'Shea insists today's barrier draw will play a big part in Savvy Nature's chances.
"I think that if we are going to win, the barriers are going to be vital," O'Shea said.
"The two times we've met him (Complacent), we've had to give him a big start. We just need to draw a gate where we can sort of get within striking distance in the run so that we are not setting ourselves too great a task."
O'Shea hopes to draw inside barrier eight.
He expects the seven-day back-up, a bigger track and the experience Savvy Nature gained from his first Melbourne start to help.
And O'Shea is also confident the son of Savabeel can run out the derby trip.
O'Shea also has VRC Oaks contender Gypsy Diamond lining up at Flemington on Saturday in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m). She took out the Group 2 Fillies Classic (1600m) at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
Melbourne, The West Australian - October 30, 2013, 6:50 am
Moonee Valley Vase 2013
Savvy Nature - Moonee Valley - Saturday 26th October, 2013
Many thanks to Lisa Grimm once again for the fantastic pictures. For anyone wishing to purchase any photos please go to www.lisagrimmphotography.com/
White Sage and Magna Amica set to battle at Rosehill this Saturday
Unbeaten gallopers White Sage and Magna Amica could face off against each other after both mares were nominated for the same event at Rosehill this Saturday.
A fillies and mares benchmark 80 handicap over 1200 metres has attracted entries from John O’Shea and Tracey Bartley, the respective trainers of each galloper.
White Sage hasn’t raced since winning a 1300 metre race at Randwick by five lengths in June. The crushing win followed on from the seven length pounding the Reset mare dished out to her rivals on debut at Kembla.
A total of 130 nominations were declared across the eight races for the meeting.
It has been a very exciting week for the John O'Shea camp with winners at Randwick, Hawkesbury, Moonee Valley and Wyong.
On Manikato Stakes night, Gypsy Diamond was the solo stable representative to run at Moonee Valley.
Following a promising but unplaced run in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield over a mile, John decided to nominate her for the mile Fillies Classic at Moonee Valley just over a week later.
Gypsy Diamond put in a tremendous effort to win the race and it was a very good ride from James McDonald that had her within striking distance in the home stretch.
She has now been nominated for the Wakeful Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day, Saturday 2nd November with the aim of running in the Oaks still being kept well and truly alive.
On Saturday, it was up to Savvy Nature to prove that he was a very deserving favourite for the Vase and worthy contender to take out the Derby.
A set of blinkers and a tongue tie were added to the gear sheet and familiar jockey James McDonald back in the saddle, it certainly was a recipe for success.
Savvy Nature although not entirely accustomed to running the Melbourne way, on the tight-turning track at Moonee Valley, he kicked clear of the field to score by an impressive 3 lengths.
Next Saturday, the stable has also nominated Steps In Time in the Yellowglen (1200m) and Kingdoms in the Lexus which should provide some strong competition as it is the final entry race into the Melbourne Cup field on Tuesday.
Moonee Valley: Breakfast with the Best
It has been an exciting morning as the stars of the Cox Plate Carnival stepped out on to the track for their morning track gallop on the course proper at Moonee Valley. Breakfast with the Best, which was televised live on TVN gave horses running over the 2-day festival the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the course.
This morning John O'Shea had four horses gallop for Breakfast with the Best with James McDonald and Helen Smith partnering them in their work. All four put in solid performances, pleasing John and their riders.
Savvy Nature worked solo with James on board over a mile ahead of his entry in the Moonee Valley Vase on Saturday 26th October.
Gypsy Diamond has been nominated for the Fillies Classic on Friday night, 25th October. This morning she worked in the company of Shoreham from Saab Hasan's stable, who will run in the Moonee Valley Cup on the Saturday.
Lucky Lago was partnered by stable rider Helen Smith in her work at Moonee Valley. The mare worked over 1400m and has been dual-nominated for Moonee Valley in the Fillies & Mares Handicap (2040m) on Friday and the Tesio Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
Diamond Oasis, the Champion Thoroughbreds representative also worked with Helen Smith on board as part of his preparation for the Telstra Phonewords Stakes (1200m).
The acceptances were also released during the Breakfast with the Best Barrier Draw for the Cox Plate and Manikato fields. Cox Plate favourite, Atlantic Jewel did not appear in the final field after a tendon issue forced Mark Kavanagh to scratch her from the G1 event. There were also two last minute entries from Chris Waller with Foreteller, instead of Sacred Falls who was anticipated to run and Danny O'Brien with Shamus Award who is first emergency for the race.
Last year, John O'Shea's multiple Group 1 winning mare Sea Siren won the Manikato Stakes with Jim Cassidy in the saddle. Sea Siren was sold to Coolmore Stud following her final start for O'Shea at Ascot in the G1 Diamond Jubilee and has continued racing in the UK.
Sea Siren's 2012 Manikato Stakes victory
Final field for Cox Plate
Final field for the Manikato Stakes
Kingdoms wins Tatts Cup in dramatic finish
A trip to Melbourne awaits the talented Kingdoms but trainer John O'Shea admits he will have to behave better than he did after prompting a double protest at Randwick on Saturday.
Photo: Bradley Photographers
The four-year-old led all the away to win the Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup but drifted out in the straight causing interference to runner-up Saint Encosta and third-placed Planet Purple.
Stewards firstly dismissed the objection by Kathy O'Hara on Planet Purple against Jay Ford, saying the 1-3/4 length margin was too great. They then said Tim Bell missed just one strike with the whip and the incident was not enough to uphold the protest.
"We see that it was you who was more impeded than the horse," chief steward Ray Murrihy told Bell.
"You miss one strike but continued to ride the horse out."
A gelding operation at the end of his three-year-old season, which included a third to It's A Dundeel in the Australian Derby, has gone some way to curbing Kingdoms' wayward tendencies but O'Shea said he still had more to learn.
"He's on an upward spiral but he still has to do things right," O'Shea said.
"The plan is to take him to Melbourne for the Lexus and if he wins that, he gets into the Melbourne Cup.
"I told Jay not to be frightened if he got posted wide. He is a very good horse but obviously still needs to improve his manners."
Ford said there was no doubt Kingdoms had been difficult to control but he told the protest hearing he was always going to win.
"There is no question he was wayward under pressure and wandered out," he said.
"He has inconvenienced Kathy's mount but he was still going better.
"Tim Bell never ceased riding and they both had the chance to get past me."
The Lexus Stakes (2500m) is the final throw of the dice for horses trying to force a way into the Melbourne Cup with the winner an automatic runner if already nominated.
Here's hoping: O'Shea concedes Darley's star has Guineas at her mercy
John O'Shea's filly Bound For Earth has beaten Guelph, and his Oaks-bound Gypsy Diamond has potential, but even the trainer concedes they are unlikely to cause an upset in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on Wednesday.
"She is an outstanding filly, Guelph. The best we have seen for a while," he said. "Look, my fillies are both going in in great condition, I would like to see Bound For Earth's coat drop [fine up] but we have been waiting for that all spring.
"Gypsy Diamond has been set for one race, the Oaks, and this run is a fork in the road for her but I expect her to run well. My pair would have to be at their very best to win but I'm sure they will be in the money somewhere."
Gypsy Diamond, by Not A Single Doubt out of a Zabeel mare, won a maiden juvenile last prep and after two starts this campaign O'Shea has reached for the blinkers for her test against the best.
"I have always thought she was a nice filly and I have been happy enough with her first couple of runs in the spring," O'Shea said. "It is a big jump in class from what she has been racing against, but she gets to the mile, which will suit her.
"The blinkers go on and will help her focus. I think she will really be hitting the line. She has to run in the money for us to keep going on the path we have planned.
''It is a test for her, especially going the Melbourne way for the first time, but if she is up to it, the Wakeful and Oaks are there."
In contrast, Guelph is a three-time group 1 winner, including the Flight Stakes at her last start. That has her as a $1.40 favourite with Luxbet to continue Darley's wonderful run and become the seventh filly to complete the Flight-Thousand Guineas double and first since Dashing Eagle in 1996.
O'Shea's team is headed in the market by Bound For Earth at $14, while Gypsy Diamond is the $51 outsider. Bound For Earth looked the likely challenger for Guelph when she got the better of her in the Furious Stakes but she has been unable to match her in the Tea Rose Stakes or Flight Stakes. "I was waiting for her coat to come through at the Furious and I didn't think we would still be waiting now," O'Shea said. "It is just starting to drop, maybe by the Oaks it will be there.
"She is obviously a very talented filly, to have beaten Guelph tells you she is up to a race like this."
Chris Roots - Sydney Morning Herald - 15/10/2013
Patience the key to finding O'Shea's best at Randwick
Randwick trainer John O'Shea says punters will have to be patient but is confident of his best winning chance at Randwick on Saturday.
O'Shea will saddle up Savvy Nature in the Group I Spring Champion Stakes and said the three-year-old has "progressed well” since his second placing behind Complacent in the Group III Gloaming Stakes a fortnight ago.
He's got no doubts the son of Savabeel has the ability to win Saturday's feature event at Sydney racing's headquarters but suggests punters should wait until the final event when Lucky Lago lines up in the Group III Angst Stakes (1600m).
"We've always had a nice opinion of her and this looks a nice race for her,” O'Shea said.
Lucky Lago recorded her second win over the mile when defeating Queenstown at Warwick Farm last start.
She's drawn "a horrid gate” in barrier 14 for this week's assignment but O'Shea can see the daughter of Australian Oaks winner Dizelle overcoming her "main obstacle” with grand slam winning jockey Jim Cassidy in the saddle.
"Jimmy will have the right approach and it mightn't be that much of a disadvantage to be out wide come that time of day,” he said.
"There's sufficient speed engaged and I thought, to be fair, Gai's horse (Queenstown) missed the kick there at Warwick Farm last start. If it jumps this week I thought she'd be a bit closer.”
"Lucky's very fit and has been working very well here at home. We're very happy with her.”
Betstar's $5.50 is top odds for Lucky Lago in Saturday's Angst Stakes.
Trainer John O'Shea has ruled out a last minute jockey switch for Spring Champion Stakes favourite Savvy Nature despite regular rider James McDonald's main spring carnival hope It's a Dundeel being ruled out with injury from the Caulfield Stakes on Saturday.
Newcastle Spring Stakes - Savvy Nature Photo: Bradley Photographers
learned only yesterday morning that It's A Dundeel would not be racing this
weekend but O'Shea has already locked in Hall of Fame jockey Jim Cassidy for
Savvy Nature in the Group 1 $400,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal
Randwick on Saturday.
"James is already booked for (other) rides at Caulfield and Jimmy is already booked for Savvy Nature," O'Shea said. "It won't change."
O'Shea added nothing should be read into the fact McDonald partnered Savvy Nature in his final serious trackwork hitout at Royal Randwick yesterday in preparation for the Spring Champion Stakes.
"Jimmy was kind enough to offer to come in and ride Savvy Nature but there as no need to change the horse's routine," O'Shea said.
"So, James rode him (yesterday) morning at trackwork . The horse has had nice gallops Saturday and (yesterday) and is on an upward spiral.
"Hopefully, the improvement he has made makes him competitive on Saturday."
Cassidy, who has ridden Savvy Nature once previously for a third at Rosehill earlier this spring, is aiming for an historic 100th career Group 1 when he partners Savvy Nature in the Spring Champion Stakes.
Savvy Nature's lead-up form has been impressive including his Spring Stakes win at Newcastle before a close second to Complacent in the Gloaming Stakes and not surprisingly bookies to rate O'Shea's three-year-old a firm $3 favourite for Saturday's big race.
Ray Thomas - The Daily Telegraph - 9th October 2013
O'Shea reckons snip will have Kingdoms on straighter path
There are as many reasons why Kingdoms can win The Metropolitan as there are why he can't.
Trainer John O'Shea is hoping Kingdoms will live up to his potential at Randwick on Saturday, the day he has been aimed at since running third in the Australian Derby behind It's A Dundeel.
"He was just a boy that day and that's why we had to cut [geld] him," O'Shea said. "He just did so much wrong, running around in the straight, and we had to do it to make him a racehorse.
"He has more ability in his little finger than Bedouin, which won this race in 2003, but he just needs to use it."
Kingdoms has become a riddle, winning just one of his nine starts. His two runs as a gelding this spring are hard to assess.
O'Shea is a realist when he looks at the challenge at Randwick. "This is a very tough Metrop but I think he is well weighted," he said.
"Whether he is seasoned enough to put it together we will find out on Saturday."
Kingdoms closed his season as a three-year-old with a fourth in
the Rosehill Guineas, the third in the Derby and another third in the Frank
Packer Plate. Those results heartened connections.
"The three-year-olds were outstanding last year and he ran third in the Derby, but when you look at the Packer Plate, it is just a great form reference," O'Shea said.
"Usainity won it from Honorius with Kingdoms third and Toydini, which is an Epsom favourite, and Hawkspur, which won the Derby in Brisbane, behind us.
''Not bad form, is it?"
The decision to geld Kingdoms, a son of High Chaparral, was taken to make him a man in one sense and not in the more conventional meaning. Such is the puzzle that is Kingdoms. His runs leading into Saturday add to the
conundrum. He beat only one when resuming behind Prince Cheri, while fair would be a good way to describe his sixth in the Hill Stakes.
"The first run he didn't participate [because he was blocked] and then he didn't have a lot of luck in the straight at weight-for-age last time," O'Shea said.
"So we have no real guide on him from those two runs.
"I think he will be competitive but he has to win to keep going further into the spring."
Kingdoms remains in the Caulfield and Melbourne cups and has found his place in the betting in the Sportingbet market for The Metropolitan at $15.
Proven stayers Mourayan, Seville and Ibicenco are above and below him, a mark of his potential.
Meanwhile, O'Shea is still waiting for classy filly Bound For Earth, a runner in the group 1 Flight Stakes on Saturday, to lose her winter coat.
She beat Guelph in the Furious Stakes but the tables were turned in the Tea Rose when she raced flat and followed home Darley's Flight favourite and Arabian Gold.
"She has improved since the Tea Rose but her coat hasn't come through yet," O'Shea said. "She has been like a woolly beast but at least it has moved to a transitional phase now. However, it is nowhere near where I want it."
Chris Roots - 4th October 2013 - Sydney Morning Herald
Steps In Time to make Flemington debut
Quality mare Steps In Time will make her debut down the famous Flemington straight when she resumes in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) this Saturday.
Steps In Time will be returning to the races for the first time since she finished 13th in the Group 1 Tattersall's Tiara (1400m) and has an excellent first-up record; recording three wins from five first-up starts.
Trainer John O'Shea told Racing Ahead that he is delighted with the condition of the Danehill Dancer mare but admitted that he is concerned by how she will handle her first taste of straight racing.
"We are really happy with her,” O'Shea said.
"I went down and had a look at her on Monday and she did a nice piece of work on Tuesday.
"The first go down the straight is always a bit of a concern but she is a big strong, fit mare and she is ready to go.”
O'Shea confirmed that Steps In Time will follow her usual racing pattern and head to the front of the field and believes that the expected tempo of the Gilgai Stakes should suit the Group 2 winner.
"I would have preferred if she had drawn a little further out but she should be able to roll forward from there and get to wherever you need to get to, which is the best part of the ground,” O'Shea said.
Steps In Time was far from disgraced when competing at Group 1 level during her autumn and winter preparation.
The six-year-old started her campaign with a narrow win over Red Tracer in the Group 2 New South Wales Thoroughbred Breeders Classic (1200m) before she recorded a dominant three and a half lengths victory over
Group 1 winners Streama, Pear Tart and Appearance in the Listed Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm.
She finished a narrow fourth behind Appearance in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens but failed to fire in Brisbane; finishing 11th in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), seventh in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) and 13th in the Tattersall's Tiara.
O'Shea has Romantic Moon, Bound For Earth, The Special Two, Electric Dee Jay, Blatant and Kingdoms running in Melbourne and Sydney tomorrow but rates Steps In Time his best winning chance.
Trainer John O'Shea believes that Lightinthenite is well placed to record his first win for almost twelve months when he contests the Group 3 JRA Cup(2040m) at Moonee Valley tomorrow night.
Lightinthenite will return to handicap conditions in the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley tomorrow night.
Photo: Steve Hart Photography
Lightinthenite resumed with a very impressive third place finish in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m); fighting on gamely after racing outside the leader Beaten Up for the majority of the race.
The Galileo gelding will return to handicap conditions in the JRA Cup, carrying four kilograms less than he did in the Chelmsford Stakes, and O'Shea is confident that the five-year-old will be very hard to beat.
"We are pretty happy with him; he seems to have enjoyed his time in the last ten days,” O'Shea said.
"He is second up at 2000 meters but he only had a short lay-off coming out of the Queensland winter so he has a good residual fitness.
"He is dropping from weight-for-age back to a handicap and gets in under the scale.
"They had a bit of rain in Melbourne overnight so the track is going to have a bit of give, which will also suit him, and he looks to get a nice run into the race.
"He will take a power of beating.”
Lightinthenite will be competing at Moonee Valley for the first time and although O'Shea doesn't believe the David Jones Cup winner will have a problem handling the tight-turning circuit he said he will be instructing jockey James McDonald to get the gelding off the rail.
"He loves Caulfield and they are slightly different but I don't think that it will be a problem for him,” O'Shea said.
"I would think that we will try and hold him one off if we could.
"I didn't want him to end up with him finding himself fourth or fifth on the rail still looking for a run.
"I would be more inclined to try and stay one off so that we can go when we need to go.”
Lightinthenite ($4.80) is currently on the third line of JRA Cup betting markets behind Western Australian star Mr Moet ($3.50) and Peter Morgan-trained Oasis Bloom ($4.25).
This weekend metropolitan racing returns to Rosehill, where the John O'Shea stable has horses entered for the Listed Reginald Allen Quality and Group 3 Gloaming Stakes.
The Reginald Allen Quality is limited to three year old fillies and both representatives Gypsy Diamond and More Than Faith are owned by the partnership of Finemore Thoroughbreds and Planette Thoroughbreds. The pair can be distinguished on Saturday by Gypsy Diamond wearing a white cap as normal while More Than Faith will wear a red cap for those watching.
Gypsy Diamond enters the race off the back of a third placing this preparation at Warwick Farm two weeks ago. Last preparation the filly finished second by 0.1 lengths in the listed The Phoenix at Eagle Farm. She returns to 1400m this weekend with usual track rider James McDonald on board. Despite drawing a wide gate her form suggests she should finish close.
More Than Faith steps up from her win at Canterbury last start to contest what will be her first listed race in the Reginald Allen. The filly will also make the step up in distance to the 1400m after racing at 1200m thus far. While she has only three race starts to her name, she has scored two wins. This time John has engaged Hugh Bowman to ride.
Savvy Nature will take his place in 13 horse field of this year's Group 3 Gloaming Stakes. This will be the gelding's first start over 1800m after an impressive win in the Spring Stakes over a mile. His pedigree and racing style suggest he will be well suited to covering further ground however he will have the disadvantage of jumping from barrier 13 this start. James McDonald who rode him in his last win has been booked to ride once again.
Savvy Nature has been nominated for the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and he will try to emulate the same program as the last three winners who all placed in the Gloaming Stakes before taking out the Spring Champion Stakes. With any luck he will follow a similar program to his sire Savabeel and all going well, a potential Derby run will be kept in mind as a goal to work toward.
The Special Two heads to Canterbury
This week's racing kicks off with Canterbury Park solo acceptor, The Special Two.
The Special Two will have her second metropolitan start for the stable in the Benchmark 69 Handicap over 1550m. Last start the filly lined up against the older mares at Rosehill in the Benchmark 75 over 1500m where she produced an excellent effort despite finishing 7th in the 12 horse field. This time she has the drop in grade and has her track rider James McDonald booked to ride. We wish James and owners, Gooree Park Stud all the best with this promising filly.
More Than Faith has been scratched from the Benchmark 68 over 1250m and instead has been nominated for the Reginald Allen Quality at Rosehill. James McDonald will once again be engaged to ride for owners, Finemore Thoroughbreds and Planette Thoroughbreds.
The stable's three year olds lead the pack at Newcastle
Savvy Nature and Bernabeu have both elevated their race records following the trip north to Newcastle this week.
John had a lot of confidence in the pair of three year olds going in to their respective races with his only hope being that they would produce on the track, what they were showing in ability at home.
While Savvy Nature had finished in the placings in each of his three starts prior with a win on debut at Kembla Grange, Bernabeu still had a point to prove and was entered into the Maiden race to do just that.
Programming options are in place for Savvy Nature to follow a similar path as his sire, Savabeel. He will progress to the upcoming Spring Champion Stakes next with a possible Melbourne campaign and Derby nomination in mind after that.
Bernabeu on the other hand will progress through the grades and John will put his thinking cap on to find a suitable race for the gelding, following today's performance.
Savvy Nature wins Spring Stakes
James McDonald believes there are strong similarities between Savvy Nature and It's A Dundeel after his dominant win in the Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle.
The John O'Shea trained colt will be given the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of It's A Dundeel by running in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 12.
"I think we have another Derby horse, he is brilliant, he switches off and has got a wicked turn of foot," McDonald said.
"Both Savvy Nature and It's A Dundeel are very raw horses, he (Savvy Nature) has got a lot more strength than
Dundeel, he did it all on ability, this bloke is a bit stronger."
Savvy Nature settled midfield in the Group 3 contest and appreciated the strong tempo set by Fuerza before winding up down the middle of the track to score a comfortable win over Wordplay with Happy Clapper a close third.
The Spring Stakes changed complexion throughout the day with pre-post favourite Stamina scratched on veterinary advice before Gai Waterhouse's pair of Rockabill and then Equator were also scratched.
O'Shea said Savvy Nature would run in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) on Saturday week and Spring Champion Stakes a fortnight later before heading to Melbourne for the Vase at Moonee Valley and then the Victoria Derby.
"He is a big gross colt who will thrive on racing," O'Shea said.
"He is about 555kg today and I think his perfect racing weight will be about 540kg. Today was only his fourth ever start, there is good improvement in him."
Brent Zerafa - TVN - 18th Sept 2013
It's Spring Time which means it's Melbourne time! The first wave of horses have safely arrived and have begun their preparation for challenging their Victorian counterparts.
Lightinthenite and Steps In Time are spending their time settling in to the stable and are certainly making the most of the one-on-one attention from their minders, Tim Benn and Helen Smith.
The pair have commenced light work at Flemington and will have a gallop on Tuesday morning at Moonee Valley. We look forward to keeping you updated with their progress throughout the carnival, especially as more horses make their way closer to Spring Carnival racing.
Photos - Golden Rose Day runners
Following a very successful weekend of racing, we've been given some great shots of our Rosehill runners from Lisa Grimm Photography.
John O'Shea celebrates stable quinella as Diamond Oasis salutes
It is rare for three-year-olds to beat older horses this early in the season which stamps young gun Diamond Oasis as a sprinter on the rise.
Diamond Oasis had to overcome an interrupted run in the straight before unleashing a brilliant burst of acceleration to sweep past his more experienced rivals in the Paslode Sprint (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens yesterday.
Trainer John O'Shea was celebrating a stable quinella as Diamond Oasis ($11) finished powerfully to beat Shelford ($3.80 favourite) to win by a length with Agent ($10) a half head away third,
"It was a good effort to beat the older horses, but this is a good colt,'' O'Shea said.
"After his first-up run, we decided to drop him back in distance to see how he would go in a sprint.
"On the evidence of that win, he's got the makings of a very good sprinter.''
Diamond Oasis, a three-quarter brother in blood to champion Pierro, struggled first-up when only seventh behind War in the Up And Coming Stakes but he bounced back yesterday with a particularly impressive effort.
Jockey Jason Collett had to ease Diamond Oasis off heels in the straight but the colt was still able to quickly regather momentum and finish brilliantly to run down Shelford.
O'Shea said Diamond Oasis is likely to back up in the Listed $100,000 Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick next week.
"He can stay at 1100m and go back to his own age,'' the trainer added.
O'Shea was also pleased with Shelford's effort to hold on for second after racing on the speed throughout.
"I thought the second horse was admirable in defeat,'' the trainer said.
"He didn't shirk his task at any stage and stuck on really well. He's going well and hopefully his winning turn is coming.''
Ray Thomas, Daily Telegraph – 14September, 2013
Golden Rose Day - Saturday 14th September
This Saturday at Rosehill marks only the sixth running of the Group 1 Golden Rose. The race did however have a much longer history under its previous name, the Peter Pan Stakes. Unfortunately this year the stable won't have a starter in the main event but do have five good chances running on the day.
Interestingly enough, all runners are in the first three races and most surprisingly, have drawn very good barriers. As every stable would agree, this very rarely occurs.
John O'Shea Racing will have two representatives lining up in the first race with Twisted Emotions and Art Thou Ready. The two stable riders James McDonald and Lester Grace will be in the saddles respectively.
Twisted Emotions ran at Rosehill two weeks ago with Jim Cassidy on board and had no luck at all in the Benchmark 90 race. Cassidy said after the race, "He's not 100% there yet and raced keen”. John has been happy with the way he has been going and this time the gelding will benefit from the drop in grade when contesting the Benchmark 80. "Twisted Emotions only ever has to run up to his best of what he does at home in any race. The drop back in grade, good barrier and more suitable distance should see him very competitive on Saturday”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Champion Thoroughbred's runner Art Thou Ready will be have his first run of the preparation off the back of two very good trial performances. "I would think that Art Thou Ready needs the run following his break but the good barrier should mean he gets a good run the race," O'Shea said.
"Both horses are in good order going into the race.”
The Special Two will have her chance to compete in Metropolitan company in Race 2. The daughter of War Pass draws on a fantastic race record, going into the race unbeaten. This time round The Special Two will be stepping up in distance from her previous starts at 1200m and 1300m, to 1500m. She will represent Gooree Stud in the Red and Black Striped silks and when she jumps from barrier 4 with Jason Collett in the saddle. "The Special Two is very well and has made a tremendous improvement since her last start. She is the younger filly taking on the older mares but she certainly has the will to win”, John said.
Race 3 sees two more stable runners step forward in Diamond Oasis and Shelford.
Champion Thoroughbred's Diamond Oasis resumes after an uncharacteristic 7th placing at Warwick Farm last start. The Lonhro colt has been performing well on the track in the lead up to Saturday's race and John mentioned, "He has been flying here on the track. Forget his last run and he should go back to his previous form.” Needless to say the trainer expects to see a vast improvement this week.
The Finemore Thoroughbreds and Planette Thoroughbreds-owned Shelford according to John is "in great order and looks magnificent” leading in to the Benchmark 75 event. He contests the same distance as his last run where he picked up a second placing against horses of same rating. "Shelford also meets the competition better at the weights this start”, John added.
This weekend the stable also has three provincial runner on track for Kembla Grange including two runners in the 3YO Fillies Maiden Plate and one in the 3YO Colts and Geldings Maiden Plate. Unlike the draw for Rosehill, the three acceptors have drawn terribly! The team hopes that this will have little impact on the chances of Cowgirl Claire, Mixed Emotions and Bernabeu. All are promising young horses that John has good opinions of.
Recently there have been lots of races run with the rail positioned out from it's 'true' placement and there are theories circulating that suggest this can favour on pace runners or those that get the rail run. Supporters and connections will be hoping to prove this concept wrong when the hopeful trio line up on Saturday.
Lisa Grimm's beautiful shots from Randwick
For those of you who haven't heard of Lisa Grimm, you're missing out!
She works tirelessly to take incredible shots every race day and has captured some wonderful moments for us at Randwick on Saturday of Gangster's Choice and now G2-winner, Bound For Earth.
Any owners wishing to purchase photos should go to www.lisagrimmphotography.com/ and Lisa will be more than happy to put together all of her shots for you to choose from.
Warwick Farm Wednesday
Three runners will line up at Warwick Farm on Wednesday for the stable including Gust Of Power, Blatant and Gypsy Diamond. Stable jockey James McDonald has been engaged to ride all three.
Gooree Park Stud's Gust Of Power(War Pass x Auburn Hills) is ready to contest the 1100m 3YO Handicap NMW. Her last start saw her win a first-up Maiden at Hawkesbury on the 22nd August with James McDonald on board. John has elected to run her over this same distance, with the same jockey but this time hopes it will be the fillies chance to step up as a Metro race winner.
Blatant will rather ironically wear the infamous Vinery Stud silks in the Vinery-sponsored race at Warwick Farm. This will be the More Than Ready colt's first up run, following two promising trial performances this preparation. Nash Rawiller mentioned after the trial, "He gives me an excellent feel and is doing everything right at this stage". He has drawn well in barrier 4 for the 1400m race.
The promising filly, Gypsy Diamond will resume with a first-up run too. Similarly to Blatant, she has had two good trials leading in to her race at Warwick Farm. Last start she was unlucky to finish second by 0.1 lengths at Eagle Farm in the Listed race, the Phoenix in June. O'Shea hopes that she will take benefit from the residual fitness that so many horses have had after Queensland winter campaigns. The daughter of Not A Single Doubt will jump from barrier 6 for Finemore Thoroughbreds and Planette Thoroughbreds in the 1300m Warwick Farm Handicap.
Melbourne Campaign for Steps in Time
Randwick trainer John O’Shea thinks he may have returned his bold front-running mare Steps In Time back to her best form.
This time last year Steps In Time was in hot form but she lost her way and her form.
Steps In Time trialled extremely well at Randwick this morning, finishing second over 1050 metres.
"I was really pleased with her trial this morning, it’s taken a long time but I might have her back to her best,” O’Shea told Racing Network this morning.
"She’ll now go to Melbourne for the Gilgai then into the Tristarc Stakes,” O’Shea said, explaining he was planning a Melbourne campaign for Steps In Time.
The Group 2 $220,000 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) will be run at Flemington on October 5 while the Group 2 $220,000 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) will be run at Caulfield two weeks later.
"I’ll have a look at all the options and there are a lot for her.
"I wouldn’t even rule out the Manikato Stakes or she could run in the Salinger on Derby Day, it all depends on how she’s going,” he said.
O’Shea explained that at her best Steps In Time had defeats over Streama and Red Tracer to name a few.
It was a very exciting day at Randwick for all involved in Gangster's Choice last Saturday.
The promising galloper had been supported by lots of patience from the team and his ownership group which was well-rewarded by securing a big win in the Benchmark 80 event.
As John mentioned following the race, "It's very rewarding for the stable as Lester Grace is an integral part of the team. I've been really happy with Gangster's Choice and of course. The key to him is getting those firmer tracks."
Champion Thoroughbred's Lightinthenite ran a gallant third in the Chelmsford. He was without cover during the run but galloped strongly in the straight to finish 3.5 lengths behind the winner. It was a fantastic effort and he certainly proved his good first-up form. He will now continue working towards a suitable race in Melbourne during the Spring. Congratulations to the team at Champion!
One Bound costs Guelph last-ditch victory in Furious finish
Shane O'Cass - The Sunday Telegraph 7/9/2013
Lightly raced filly Bound For Earth burst into calculations for the remaining legs of the Princess Series after toppling odds-on favourite and last season's Champion 2YO Guelph in a thrilling conclusion to the Group 2 ATC Coolmore Furious Stakes (1200m) at Randwick yesterday.
The John O'Shea-trained filly hadn't raced since finishing third in the Group 2 BRC Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) in May at only her third race start having won a Canterbury midweek maiden on debut.
"She had no luck in Brisbane and we just ticked her over nicely and she had trialled nicely so we were hoping she'd run well," O'Shea said.
"I think when she gets to a mile she will be at her best so her and Guelph and going to have some tussles over the next month or so but both fillies have got some improvement.
"Guelph looked to be a little big in condition and my filly is like a big hairy koala at the moment, they'll both improve."
Bound For Earth jumped on terms and slotted into the perfect trailing position midfield one-off the fence with Guelph tracking her all the way.
Patinack filly Thump ($8), who raced outside the leader throughout, dashed to lead at the 200m as Guelph and Bound For Earth were produced in unison topping the rise. Any one of the trio looked capable of winning inside the final furlong with Bound For Earth getting the nod narrowly ahead of Guelph with Thump a brave third.
Bound For Earth's win was another personal triumph for Victorian jockey Nicholas Hall who was having his first ride on the daughter of Northern Meteor. Although he was later fined $1000 for "dropping his hands" 25m out which almost cost him the race.
Chief steward Ray Murrihy said Hall was facing a two-month suspension had he lost the race.
But O'Shea was full of praise for the winning hoop.
"That's a bonus," O'Shea said. "I love to put Nick on when I get the opportunity and with James (McDonald) in Melbourne, Nick is an able replacement."
Hall capped off a sensational 2012/13 season with a rails-hugging ride aboard Linton in the Group 1 BRC Stradbroke Handicap during the Brisbane winter carnival.
"I really, really like this horse, gee there's some improvement in her," Hall said.
"She dug deep and I think she'll come on from that and she'll come on from that, so there's something to look forward to for sure," Hall said.
Bound For Earth is one of around 50 racehorses owned by transport magnate Kevin Maloney who has assembled a peerless band of broodmares at his Scone nursery as well as an expansive crop of prominent racehorses including the subsequent Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) just forty minutes after the Furious was run.
Maloney paid $290,000 for Bound For Earth at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale on the advice of bloodstock manager and former Group 1 trainer Bill Mitchell.
"She's by a first season sire and we took a punt on her a bit but it has come good.
"John (O'Shea) came to us and said he thought she was one of the best horses in the sale, he liked, we all liked it, so that's great - she's a Group 2 winner now."
O'Shea secures Group 2 with Bound For Earth
Two promising conveyances took to the track for the Furious Stakes at Randwick, Bound for Earth and Romantic Moon.
Bound For Earth was the very impressive winner, in what was touted a very strong field in the lead up to Race 4. The Segenhoe filly found a clear run down the centre of the track and while her competitors challenged late, the daughter of Northern Meteor worked strongly to finish 0.1 length clear. Congratulations to Segenhoe Thoroughbreds and jockey Nicholas Hall.
Romantic Moon wearing the Gooree silks, ran 5th in the feature event after bumping in to a lot of traffic in the straight. Peter Robl said, "She gave me a lovely feel and feels like she is looking for further. She feels like she'd be a good miler. When she did get clear (with 50m to go), she didn't have that really strong turn of foot but she's a lovely filly."
Sky Racing's Big Sports Breakfast
For those of you that missed John's interview with the team from Big Sports Breakfast this morning, go to their website to hear what they have to say about Saturday's Randwick contenders. It can be found under today's podcasts. http://www.bigsportsbreakfast.com.au/podcasts.php
The Big Sports Breakfast is Sydney's only all-sports breakfast radio program. Hosts Terry Kennedy and Michael Slater present a diversity of sport that will satisfy everyone in a sports hungry public.
For further news, go to www.skyracing.com.au or tune into Sky Sports Radio to keep up to date with the latest in racing.
Saturday Racing Returns to Randwick
The O'Shea stable will be well represented at Randwick on Saturday with four chances lining up on Chelmsford Stakes Day. Gangster's Choice will run in the BM 80 (Race 2), Romantic Moon and Bound For Earth will both contest the Furious Stakes (Race 4) and Lightinthenite will have his first-up run in the feature event, the Chelmsford Stakes. Eravana will be the only stable representative heading to Newcastle and will start in the Benchmark 80 over 1300m (Race 8).
Gangster's Choice continues his preparation and will take his place in another mile race after a good performance at the distance last start. The son of Stratum has pleased the stable in his work since the gutsy third placing at Warwick Farm a fortnight ago. John has engaged the services of stable apprentice Lester Grace who will claim 3kg's on the gelding. He should have every chance to get the run of the race after drawing ideally in barrier 2. "Gangster's Choice looks well placed and I couldn't be happier with him heading into Saturday's race”, O' Shea said.
Romantic Moon and Bound For Earth are both set to contest the Group 2 Furious Stakes over 1200m. Romantic Moon resumes after a successful two year old season and should take benefit from having two recent trials in preparation for this race. Peter Robl will partner the filly, wearing the famous Gooree silks and will jump from barrier 2. Segenhoe Stud's Bound For Earth is also a promising filly, having raced well in Queensland during the winter carnival. She has returned to the stable to have two solid trials ahead of the event and will have Melbourne-jockey Nicholas Hall in the saddle when they jump from barrier 5. "Both fillies have made good improvement and I am very excited about their chances on Saturday”, O'Shea said.
Lightinthenite resumes in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes over the mile. The son of Galileo who recently trialled very well over 1050m at Randwick, has been known to race well fresh and John believes that tomorrow will be no different. "He loves Randwick and there is some good form around the WFA horses that wintered in Queensland, so far this spring”, O'Shea said. "Lightinthenight is fit and well and the mile first up doesn't hold any fears for the stable."
Eravana will be the solo contender heading to Newcastle this weekend. The son of Encosta De Lago is lightly raced, rock hard fit and takes the benefit of winning at this track previously. John believes the gelding will appreciate the bigger track and the drop in grade.
Randwick Trials on Monday 9th September
The stable will have 11 horses barrier trialling on Monday 9th September at Randwick.
Two chances Wyong-bound for O'Shea
John O'Shea Racing will be represented with two runners on the second day of the Wyong Cup meeting. Never Fazed has accepted for Race 2 while Princess Layla will contest the Mona Lisa Plate, a listed race for Fillies and Mares set over 1350m.
Never Fazed will run in the Set Weights Maiden over 1200m and has had the benefit of two recent trials leading into his race debut. The gelding has drawn ideally in barrier 5 and has the services of jockey James McDonald aboard. "Never Fazed is a very nice young horse who is fit, well and will be very competitive”, O'Shea said.
Princess Layla will contest the time-honoured Listed Mona Lisa Stakes with James McDonald in the saddle once again. The daughter of Fastnet Rock has really appreciated the freshen-up since her tough last start at Rosehill Gardens. "Princess Layla has worked brilliantly at home and is rock hard fit. The mare will be a good chance and is confident the mare will run a race at odds in a very competitive race”, O'Shea said.
More Than Faith victorious at Canterbury
John O'Shea could not have been happier with More Than Faith's victory at Canterbury yesterday. The filly was most impressive in the Benchmark 70 race over 1200m and was given a brilliant run by stable jockey, James McDonald. The pair settled just behind the leaders and on turning for home More Than Faith showed a fantastic turn of foot to win the race by half a length. John has a good opinion of her and hopes she will continue to show this type of class. "More Than Faith is very promising. I thought it was an excellent effort to take on the older mares and win today. She has a very bright racing future”, O'Shea said. Congratulations to the owners, Finemore Thoroughbreds and Planette Thoroughbreds.
Photo courtesy Bradley Photos 02 4868 1433.
The leading pack took off in Race 4 as a few contenders tried to establish the lead which saw Electric Dee Jay drop back to mid-field initially. The tempo did not slow down during the race and James McDonald worked his way around the pack onto the straight. The High Chaparral colt fought strongly in the final 200m, only beaten half a head. It was a tremendous effort considering the pace throughout the 1500m event. John believes that Electric Dee Jay may not have appreciated the harder track surface which was rated a Good 3.
Rich ‘N' Famous was the unlucky runner of the team. In the final race of the day, James McDonald allowed the horse to settle at the rear of the field after jumping from the wide barrier. Unfortunately, Rich ‘N' Famous was unable to gain a clear run at any stage in the straight to finish only 2.5 lengths off the leader despite finishing unplaced. It was a great effort from the gelding and with a little more luck next start will be one to watch.
First Track Gallop On New Kensington Track
Story By Neale Donnelley TVN September 3, 2013.
The opening of the new Kensington track on October 7 is on
target after the first official gallop was conducted there this morning.
Hugh Bowman and Peter Robl galloped horses on the new
strath-ayr surface and both had positive reports after the gallop.
Randwick Track Manager, Nevesh Ramdhani, today told Racing
Network the gallop had been a huge success.
"Hugh Bowman and Peter Robl were highly-complimentary of
the new track.
"They had a really good response and told me there
was a very good cushion in the track as well,” Ramdhani said.
The Kensington track hasn’t staged a meeting since late
October last year and since then a complete re-build of the track has been
"We now have a complete re-build to a proper strath-ayr
profile, great drainage, and a new grass called ‘village green’ kikuyu, which
grows like a monster,” he said.
"It’s a new hybrid version of the former grass but this
grows so much faster and now we have roots all the way through the profile and
into the mesh,” he added.
The first meeting on the new Kensington track is due to be staged on
Monday, October 7.
Star Stable - Spring 2013
Some of you might have noticed a familiar face in the latest Star Stable advertising campaign...
None other than that of our trainer, John O'Shea.
The TAB and Sky Racing are promoting the new season of their very popular Star Stable spring competition. We urge you to get involved. There are some fabulous prizes to be won and great fun to be had by all.
The competition allows entrants to choose their own stable by selecting horses, trainers and jockey, trading them in and out each week while trying to collect as much prize-money as possible during the Spring racing season.
This season, John O'Shea Racing will create their own league which you are all welcome to enter. First of all, enter the competition at http://www.starstable.com.au/ and once you're set up, we can provide you with a code you'll need to join the John O'Shea Racing league.
Three Runners Heading To Canterbury Tomorrow
The O’Shea stable will take three promising gallopers to Canterbury tomorrow. Electric Dee Jay contests Race 4, More Than Faith runs in Race 6 and Rich ‘N' Famous rounds out the day in Race 7.
Electric Dee Jay continues his preparation in the Benchmark 67 over 1550m. The colt has pleased the stable since his last start, when he went down fighting in a strong race at Hawkesbury, 12 days ago. "Electric Dee Jay meets the winner 1.5kg's better at the weights and being a son of High Chaparral the step up in distance will suit”, said John. Stable jockey James McDonald will continue his association with galloper. The pair should have a lovely run from barrier 5 and be very competitive.
More Than Faith will need to overcome another awkward barrier, after drawing gate 8 in the Benchmark 70 over 1200m. "The mare has made dramatic improvement since her last start. I'm very happy with More Than Faith heading into tomorrow's race”, said John. More Than Faith ran a game race last start after sitting 3 and 4 deep. Hopefully, the mare can get some cover and with any luck she will run a good race.
Rich ‘N' Famous rounds out the trio in Race 7, the Non Metro Win Race over 1100m. The very
consistent galloper has returned for his second preparation and has had two trials leading into tomorrow's event. The gelding ran third in his most recent trial at Randwick over 1050m, as part of his preparation for this race. "Rich ‘N' Famous will go back from the wide gate and I expect him to be very strong late”, said John. James Donald has been booked for the ride.
John has elected to scratch Le Cordon Bleu from the 3 year old Maiden (Race 1 – 1250m).
The Special Two Makes It Two From Two
The ultra impressive War Pass filly The Special Two (pictured below) continued on her winning way with another great victory at Hawkesbury on
Saturday. The Special Two was ridden an absolute treat by inform jockey Jeff
Penza who rode a double on the day. Jeff was able to bide his time sitting
fourth the fence on the leaders backs The Special Two burst on the scene just
after straightening showing a beautiful turn off foot to score another commanding
victory in Race 8 over 1300m. The Special Two is a highly talented filly who
will continue to race through the grades with her ultimate goal being the Group
One Flight Stakes over the mile at Randwick. Congratulations to the connections of this
exciting filly - Andrew Baddock and the team from Gooree Park Stud.
It will be all hands on deck for the John O'Shea stable tomorrow with 8 horses representing the stable at two different tracks. "It will be a busy day we have 5 horses heading to Rosehill Gardens and three promising young gallopers on the truck to Hawkesbury", said John.
The day kicks off in Race 1 at Rosehill with Savvy Nature resuming from a spell in the Benchmark 75 over 1400m. The Savabeel gelding has trialled twice leading into tomorrow's event running 3rd in his most recent. "He is a progressive young racehorse who has improved since his first prep and should run well from the inside draw", said John. Savvy Nature will be ridden by Jimmy Cassidy.
The very consistent O'Reilly mare Cloud Valley contests Race 2 Benchmark 80 over 1900m. "The mare is rock hard fit who is never far away in her races and I expect her to be competitive again in a very open mares race", said John. Drawn nicely in barrier 5 and has the services of Jimmy Cassidy.
Australian Derby place getter Kingdoms resumes in Race 3 Benchmark 95 over 1500m. The talented stayer resumes as a gelding has had two trials, making late ground in his most recent. "Kingdoms has preformed well whilst fresh in the past and should be nice and competitive in Saturday's event", said John. Tim Clark will guide the son of High Chaparral.
Twisted Emotions continues his preparation in Race 5 Benchmark 90 over 1300m. The very consistent galloper has won second up at the distance previously. John expects the horse to improve dramatically since his first up run 12 days ago. "Twisted Emotions is a talented horse who will appreciate being kept at the sprint distances and down sharply in weight from last start", said John. Champion jockey Jimmy Cassidy will be aboard.
Lucky Lago rounds out a busy day at Rosehill in Race 7 Benchmark 80 over 1100m. The lightly raced blue blood has shown a lot of promise to date winning her last start by 7 lengths before a spell. The stable is very happy with the mare she is in good order and will settle off the speed from the horrible draw. "Lucky Lago may find tomorrow's distance a touch short but I expect her to be very competitive", said John
The stable sends three interesting gallopers to Hawkesbury tomorrow first starters Super Villain and Prodane contest Race 4 and Race 5 respectively while the ultra impressive debut winner The Special Two competes in Race 8.
The Savabeel 3yr old Super Villian makes his race debut in the Maiden over 1400m. Super Villain pleased John when trialling in a very strong heat at Randwick recently. "Super Villian is a talented young stayer in the making who will need the run tomorrow however I do expect to the horse to be strong late", said John. Former Queensland jockey Paul Hammersly will be aboard the first starter.
First starter Prodane runs in Race 5 Maiden over 1400m. Prodane is a half brother to Group 1 performer Proisir by Dane Shadow. "The colt has shown a lot of potential on the training tracks, he has had two nice trials leading into tomorrow's event", said John. The son of Dane Shadow will have to overcome an awkward barrier 12 and has the services of Jeff Penza.
The last runner for the day is the ultra impressive The Special Two who will contest race 8 Class 1 over 1300m. The War Pass filly was a runaway winner over 1200m at Kembla 21 days ago. "The Special Two is a highly talented quality filly who should run very well", said John. Jeff Penza retains the ride on the filly who has drawn nicely in barrier 4. John believes that The Special Two will measure up against the better 3 year olds later in the spring with the Group 1 Flight Stakes her ultimate goal.
Podcast: John runs through Rosehill chances
Racenet journalist Clinton Payne caught up with John O'Shea today about the stable's weekend runners at Rosehill. To hear his thoughts on the five horses lining up on Saturday go to:
The stable also has three runners for Hawkesbury in Champion Thoroughbreds' Super Villain (R4 - 1:40pm - P Hammersley), Prodane (R5 - 2:15pm - J Penza) and Gooree-bred The Special Two (R8 - 4:15pm - J Penza).
Resumethegame Runs Second At Newcastle
Resumethegame ran a great race finishing second to the very smart galloper Entirely Platinum in the fifth event at Newcastle this afternoon. The mare settled beautifully for James McDonald sitting just off the pace challenged strongly in the straight going down by 3/4 length. James thought there was a lot of merit in her run she relaxed and switched off nicely during the race. We looked to be a bit stiff running into the winner, he was very impressive Resumethegame was brave and she did beat the rest of the field easily which is always a good sign, said John.
Resumethegame Heads To Newcastle
Resumethegame will be the sole representative at Newcastle this afternoon when she competes in Race 5 Class 2 over 1400m. The lightly raced mare by postponed resumed last start at Canterbury when wearing blinkers, sat outside the leader and over raced when finishing third. John has elected to remove the blinkers today. I expect the mare to settle better and will take a sit after drawing barrier 1, said John. Stable jockey James McDonald will be aboard Resumethegame who goes well at Newcastle having won on debut and the stable believes that the mare should run well and be very competitive in the Class 2 event.
Midweek Runners At Warwick Farm
The John O'Shea stable has been left with two runners at tomorrow's Warwick Farm meeting Shelford will contest Race 4 Benchmark 75 over 1100m and Eravana runs in Race 6 Benchmark 70 over 1300m. We haven't had any luck with the barrier draws with all the horses drawing awkward, said John
Shelford resumes for the stable in Race 4 The Benchmark 75 over 1100m. The impressive son of Redoute's Choice has trailed well winning his most recent over 1050m at Randwick last Monday. Shelford is going better than ever and has preformed well fresh in the past however he has come back much bigger and stronger and will need racing, said John. Stable jockey James McDonald will be aboard.
Eravana pleased the stable with a very good run when resuming last start finishing a close 5th after some 16 months off the scene. The lightly raced gelding has been working well and I have tinkered with the gelding's gear and will sport winkers for the first time tomorrow, said John. Eravana should enjoy the drop back in class to the benchmark 70 and has a nice weight drop with Lester Grace claiming 3kg's in race 6.
Impressive last start winner The Special Two has been scratched from Race 5 after drawing poorly. The filly will head to Hawkesbury on Saturday. She is a filly with a lot of potential with her ultimate goal being the Group 1 Flight Stakes, said John.
Warwick Farm Barrier Trials
Two fillies from the John O'Shea stable have been nominated for Friday's barrier trials at Warwick Farm.
Both will trial in Heat 7, the 3YO Fillies Open Trial over 800m which will run at 9.27am.
Bound For Earth (Northern Meteor x Bulla Borghese) will be ridden by Hugh Bowman, while Gypsy Diamond (Not A Single Doubt x Gypsy Tucker) will be ridden by stable jockey James McDonald.
We will also have horses trialling at Rosehill Gardens on Monday 2nd September.
Warwick Farm Round Up
The very consistent Gangster's Choice returned to form running a courageous third after a tough run sitting three and four wide for the entire trip. The flashy chestnut fought hard and stuck his head out on the line to finish third beaten 1 3/4 lengths in race 2 over the mile. It was a pleasing effort and great to see him return to some form Glen Boss was full of praise for the horse, said John.
Diamond Oasis jumped well and driven forward from the awkward barrier sitting outside the leader in the Up and Coming Stakes however the talented colt found the 1300m too far finishing unplaced in the event. After the race jockey Tim Clark felt that the horse would be better suited over the sprint distances. The son of Lonhro is lightly raced and is still learning his trade, we will head towards the Listed Heritage Stakes over the 1100m at Randwick in four weeks time, said John.
What Glen Boss had to say about Gangster's Choice
Champion jockey Glen Boss partnered the 6 year old Stratum gelding in his second start this preparation, at Warwick Farm. The pair finished third and on returning to scale here's a few snippets of what Glen told John and the owners.
He jumped really well and went forward but he was caught wide for the whole run.
He'll be good when he gets up over the mile.
He was very brave, at the hundred he somehow just kept finding.
He' a good bloke and he's pretty tough.
Glen Boss has ridden some pretty good horses, so we certainly hope that this means that good things are to come for the striking chestnut! Be sure to keep an eye out for where Gangster's Choice will have his next start.
Warwick Farm Runners
The John O'Shea stable has accepted with two runners at Warwick Farm on Saturday, Gangster's Choice contests race 2 BM 85 over the mile and promising 3yr old Diamond Oasis in race 5 Up and Coming Stakes over 1300m
Gangster's Choice has pleased the stable since his first up run on an unsuitable slow track. A noted dry tracker the son of Stratum will run a much improved race on the firmer surface, said John. Gangster's Choice has won at the track previously, the step up to a mile does not hold any fears for the stable as the gelding is also a winner second up. Gangster Choice should get the run of the race after drawing ideally in barrier 3. John has engaged champion jockey Glen Boss.
Diamond Oasis resumes in the time honoured Up and Coming Stakes over 1300m. Diamond Oasis was ultra impressive when scoring a strong win at last Friday's Warwick Farm trials. The colt is a very nice horse who has strong form against the best of his age group during the Autumn, said John. Tim Clark will be aboard Diamond who will need to overcome a tricky barrier 11 however should be very competitive in his return to racing on Saturday.
Gust Of Power Is All Power At Hawkesbury
Gust Of Power (pictured below) showed superior speed to lead from the outset and rated beautifully controlling the tempo of the race by inform jockey James McDonald, Gust of Power was able to draw clear and score running away by 1 1/4 lengths in the first race at Hawkesbury this afternoon. James McDonald was full of praise - the filly found the line really well, a very strong win added James on dismounting. Gust Of Power is a lovely filly who I've always has a nice opinion of - we have no set plans, she will head back to her own age and sex and let her go through her grades, said John. Congratulations to the team at Gooree Park Stud!
Photo courtesy of Bradley Photographers 02 4868 1433.
Electric Dee Jay was given a lovely ride by James McDonald sitting third on the leaders backs. The son of High Chaparral pounced on the leaders on straightening challenged strongly, running a brave second going down a long neck in the last race at Hawkesbury this afternoon.
Stable Heads To Hawkesbury With Two Strong Chances
The John O'Shea stable heads to Hawkesbury this afternoon with a realistic chance of book ending the meeting. Gust Of Power Race 1 Maiden over 1100m and Electric Dee Jay engaged in the last.
Gust Of Power resumes in Race 1 Maiden over 1100m. The filly has impressed John since scoring a very strong win at a recent Randwick trial over 735m. The War Pass filly looks to be very hard to beat with strong Autumn form when last in work, has drawn ideally in barrier 3 and has the services of James McDonald.
Electric Dee Jay continues his preparation in Race 8 Benchmark 63 over 1300m. The son of High Chaparral was ultra impressive when scoring last start over the track and distance . Electric Dee Jay has improved since his first up win and John expects another strong showing by this progressive young racehorse.
Diamond Oasis On Trial for Melbourne Campaign
The John O'Shea trained three year old Diamond Oasis will be on trial for a possible Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign when he steps out in the Group 3 $125,000 IBIS Styles Lansvale Up and Coming Stakes(1300m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Even though Diamond Oasis has drawn the outside of the eleven horse field, O'Shea is hoping for a good performance to justify joining his half a dozen Carnival team heading to Melbourne after winning an 800m barrier trial at Warwick Farm last Friday.
"We've got quite a few there and I guess we'll have about six to go down to Melbourne,” O'Shea told Racing Network.
"But I'd say a race like the Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley could be a good race for him.”
O'Shea has picked out the Group 3 $125,000 Ming Dynasty Quality Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on September 7 as a possible date for Diamond Oasis' next run before he maps out the rest of the Spring program which could include the Group 2 $220,000 City Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 27.
"He'll go to the Ming Dynasty after Saturday then we'll assess where he is at,” O'Shea said.
"I want to have a good look at the Melbourne colts who will excel past 1200-metres before we really make any tough decisions.”
While Diamond Oasis has only won one race, a 1000m Gosford maiden, the Lonhro colt has been placed at Group 3 level when third to Safeguard in the $125,000 Ticketek Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on April 13 before running third again to Le Val in the Listed $100,000 Moreton Hire Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on May 4.
The Peter Snowden trained Safeguard was spelled after the Kindergarten Stakes win, but resumed last Saturday to take out the Group 3 $135,000 Legacy 90th Anniversary Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, indicating that he is on target for a good Spring campaign.
Diamond Oasis is among O'Shea's six nominations for the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12 while O'Shea has three fillies, Romantic Moon, Gypsy Diamond and Bound For Earth entered in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 16.
O'Shea's other major Melbourne Spring Carnival nominations are Lightinthenite and Kingdoms in the Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19 with Kingdoms also entered in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
As we prepare for the Spring racing season there are many horses getting ready for there first and second trials before heading to the races.
We have nominated two horses to trial at Warwick Farm on Friday 16th August in the Group and Listed heats. Kingdoms will be ridden by Tim Clark in Heat 1 over 1200m, while Champion Thoroughbreds' Diamond Oasis will trial in Heat 4 over 800m with James McDonald in the saddle.
The Randwick trials have been brought forward to Monday 19th August. We have nominated 31 horses, as listed below:
The Rosehill trials will still be held on Tuesday 20th August and we have nominated Le Cordon Bleu for the 900m heat.
Late entries for 2013 Melbourne spring carnival features
Impressive debut winner The Special Two is one of four late nominations for the Group I Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield in October.
Randwick trainer John O'Shea prepared the daughter of War Pass to score by three lengths at Newcastle last Saturday, which prompted connections to add the filly to the Thousand Guineas entries.
Patinack Farm has entered the Group II Reisling Stakes placegetter Spurrendous for the $500,000 event while Adelaide trainer Marilyn Smith has nominated Listed placegetter Australia Day for the race.
Mornington trainer Pat Carey has also nominated the unraced filly Flametree Of Thika for the Thousand Guineas. Flametree Of Thika is a sister to the 2012 Group I South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire and Group I Queensland Oaks winner Gondokoro.
Patinack Farm has also entered colts Hooked and Desk Pop for the Group I Caulfield Guineas. Hooked is also a late entry for the Group I Cox Plate.
Victorian trainer Dean Howard has also made a late entry for Lucky Strike in the Caulfield Guineas.
Brad Waters - Racenet 13/08/13
The Special Two - Newcastle 10th August
Newcastle-specialist jockey Jeff Penza partnered Gooree-bred 'The Special Two' to victory in the Maiden Plate last Saturday.
While Penza had ridden an impressive 134 horses at the Newcastle track in the last 12 months for a strike rate of 11.9%, The Special Two was having her very first racing start.
The Special Two jumped from barrier 9 in the 11 horse race and was given a great ride by Penza through the pack to settle on the rail mid-field, during the 1200m event. Rounding the home turn she accelerated quickly away from the other runners, to cross the finish line three lengths clear.
Congratulations to the team at Gooree Park Stud! We look forward to the next start for your lovely filly.
Congratulations are in order for Finemore Thoroughbreds & Planette Thoroughbreds following Saturday's win at Kembla Grange.
Jeff Penza partnered More Than Faith (More Than Ready/Faith Hill) for her first race start in the Maiden Handicap.
The filly lead throughout the 1200m run and in the final stages, pulled away from her rivals to win by 1.5 lengths.
It was a great first up performance and we look forward to her next start.
Kingdoms is back
An important gear change has paved the way for talented stayer Kingdoms to put his best foot forward this spring after a pleasing trial at Randwick on Friday.
The son of High Chaparral has been gelded since his autumn campaign where he was placed behind It’s A Dundeel in the Australian Derby.
"He’s a different horse at home now,” O’Shea said. "He used to walk around yelling, making plenty of noise and couldn’t keep his mind on the job.
"We’ve all got a friend like that.”
The trainer said Kingdoms would trial again before assessing his spring options but conceded the
galloper’s "rating is low” and therefore his first priority would be to qualify for the major staying races.
"He’s always shown good staying potential and it’ll be my focus to ensure he has the opportunity to display those qualities,” he said.
For those interested in following the trials, here’s a list of our horses nominated for the Randwick barrier trials on Friday 2 August. Remember if you’re unable to watch at the track, trials can be viewed live on the racing network website and are replayed on TVN in the evening.
Aiming Target For Back To Back
SYDNEY, Tuesday 16 July, 2013 – Champion Thoroughbreds representative Target In Sight will seek back to back wins within eight days at tomorrow's ATC Meeting at Royal Randwick.
Target In Sight will line up in the final event the ROYAL RANDWICK HANDICAP over 1200 m with form young apprentice Lester Grace in the saddle claiming three kilos.
The young son of Nadeem won impressively at Kembla Grange last Tuesday (9th July) over 1200 m when he did not have things go his way in the run but did come home strongly from a long way back in the field to get up on the line.
"He definitely raced well last week in terms of his performance and responded well to being ridden quiet." Said trainer John O'Shea.
"We will monitor the track condition closely and we make a decision early tomorrow (Wednesday) morning after the course proper gallop whether we line up."
"He cannot be faulted, as his overall condition is excellent and he has really come through his last start in super order,"
"In what is an even race, it is a step up for him, but he has done everything at home in the last week to suggest he will take nice improvement into his next race start." O'Shea explained.
O'Shea will also saddle up a young debutant in the first event of the day, the AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP for two year olds over 1100 m.
Electric Dee Jay is an impressive son of prolific stallion High Chaparral and will be ridden by Jason Collett.
"Electric Dee Jay is a cracking colt who still needs further time but he has done everything right to take his place at the races." O'Shea said.
"He will improve off whatever he does tomorrow and he needs some racing but should progress on to be a lovely three year old in time."
CHAMPION THOROUGFHBREDS OPEN DAY ON SUNDAY
SYDNEY, Friday 12 July, 2013 - Fresh off the back of recent success, Champion Thoroughbreds is having an open at the John O'Shea racing stables this Sunday.
Champion Thoroughbreds' three-year-old Target In Sight provided another winner at Kembla Grange on Tuesday following on from Carmine King's victory at Eagle Farm last Saturday.
The Champion Thoroughbreds' team is looking forward to showcasing 16 of their 22 horses to owners and the general public on Sunday.
"These open day's represent a great opportunity for the owners to come along and see their racehorses and the physical progress that they've made, we give a good deal of commentary to give everyone an idea of where they're at, and welcome questions," O'Shea said.
"But the day is also for people who are yet to purchase a share in a horse and want to know how a stable operates."
A total of 14 horses will be on show including the consistent Group winning stayer Lightinthenite, who is being aimed at the Melbourne spring carnival as well as promising stakes-placed juvenile, and close relation to Pierro, Diamond Oasis.
In addition to the current racing stock, two yearlings to be paraded both with a few shares available.
One is a More Than Ready colt out of a Group III winning sprinter and the other colt is by first-season-sire Medaglia d'Oro.
"Both colts underwent their first piece of faster work this week and I couldn't be happier with them. They'll both go through the gates on Saturday morning before having four week spell next week." O'Shea said.
There will be a BBQ in full swing as well as a barista on hand to take your coffee order. General public and children are welcome. The day kicks off at 9:30am in preparation for a 10am start at28 High St, Randwick.
SYDNEY, Tuesday 9
July, 2013 – Champion Thoroughbreds continued their winning success when
Target In Sight performed impressively this afternoon at Kembla Grange.
Contesting the Coledale 3YO Class 1 Handicap over 1200 m,
Target In Sight did not have it all his own way as he was set a task from the
outset when leaving the barriers did not go according to plan.
Target In Sight was hampered with a the beginning of the
race and premier jockey Nash Rawiller was forced to ease the strapping son of
Nadeem, to eventually settle toward the rear of the field.
"We just got cut in half at the start, hence getting back so
far in the run.” Rawiller explained.
Approaching the turn Target In Sight was spotting the
leaders some nine lengths before, vintage Rawiller, negotiated a path toward
the outside and the three year old came with a strong sustained run to get over
the top of rivals at the line.
"He does have some future this horse as evidenced by his
"For a minute I did think we had got back to far and its
hard on a day like today to come from that far back and still win, great
effort!” Rawiller commented.
Randwick trainer John O’Shea was pleased with the effort and
said that he was in no rush with Target In Sight.
"He’s a young horse that is improving with time as he
further matures, we will just keep him to his grade and hopefully chalk up more
wins next to his name.” O’Shea said.
Carmine King Gets Job Done In Brisbane
BRISBANE, Saturday 6 July, 2013 – John O'Shea raided Eagle Farm this afternoon with good success when saddling up Carmine King who proved too strong in the HLB MANN JUDD Class 6 Plate over 1200 m.
O'Shea's astute race placement of Carmine King reaped the intended reward for the Champion Thoroughbreds galloper.
Ridden by premier senior jockey Damian Browne, Carmine King was put into a forward position and travelled outside the leader.
Browne gave the son of Commands an armchair ride and after straightening Carmine King proved too strong to the line winning by two lengths.
"We were delighted with his effort, it did look a lovely race for him on paper and that proved the case with him giving a good winning account of himself.” O'Shea said.
"There just was not the suitable programming for him in Sydney due to where he is marked in terms of is Rating,”
"We will likely keep him up here for another run in a fortnight, all going well.” O'Shea added
'Off The Rails'
John O’Shea appeared on Sky Racing’s ‘Off
The Rails’, hosted by Greg Radley and panellists Malcolm Johnston and
Bernadette Cooper this evening.
With the Daily Telegraph running a story
last Friday that the up-keep of the facilities at Randwick being not up to scratch,
Radley used the opportunity to probe O’Shea about his thoughts of Randwick and
the Australian Turf Club.
Whilst O’Shea remained supportive of the
Australian Turf Club, he did point out that there was a number of issues that
needed to be addressed and conceded that the merger that took place between the
Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club may not had been as successful
as it was anticipated.
O’Shea pointed out that Rosehill has "lost
its identity” since the merger, with his rationale being that the
administration has been relocated to ‘headquarters’ at Randwick.
"Horse race clubs have traditionally always
been a community amongst the trainers”.
"Whether it is right or wrong, the
perception is that the club is based at Randwick” O’Shea astutely explained.
The Royal Ascot bound trainer offered very
balanced advice with the need for a general manager for each track, which will
in-turn provide trainers that sense of ‘association’.
The ‘cost savings’ the merger was supposed
to bring was another issue O’Shea brought up, conceding that he "has not seen a
report produced to say that the twenty million dollars that was supposed to be
saved in the merger has been saved”.
O’Shea also agreed that there may have been
a debt that was inherited from the Sydney Turf Club but could be satisfied it
was seventy million dollars.
"However, it (ATC’s financial woes) are not as bad as
everyone is making it out to be” he sternly stipulated.
When asked about the ‘Hong Kong – Ascot - style’
grandstand, O’Shea revealed that the trainers were never consulted throughout
the building process of where do they take their owners and where do they (the
owners) need to be. O’Shea explained the procedure for an owner was that of a
marathon from watching their horse parading, to watching the race, to hearing
jockeys comments after the race.
"However, the owners room is outstanding
and the Theatre of the Horse is great but there are a number of things that
need to be fine tuned and once they are it will be ultimately fantastic and
something to be very proud of”.
The conversation then led to O’Shea talking
about the level of competition that is now in Sydney is arguably the best in
"With all the trainers moving to Sydney,
the field sizes and the strength of racing; Sydney horses are dominating the
"The racing is very strong, prize-money is
astronomically good and we (Sydney) are lucky in that respect. When the Kenso
(Kensington Track) is back, which is soon to be ready to go, we will have some
wonderful tracks and everything is going the right way” an optimistic O’Shea
The most talked about subject at the moment
though is the debate of stable fees rising at Sydney’s training tracks. Bernadette
Cooper asked John whether that would come about, with the astute horseman
conceding that the main priority needing to be the reducing of costs for
owners, because it has been noticed that many expenses have been slowly
"As a trainers group we have been united in
trying to work what we can do to actually minimise costs to owners”.
"Whether that be making trials free, taking
away nominations and acceptances (the fees) which will help lower owners bills
at the end of the month”.
"The bottom line is that we want to make
sure that its cheaper for owners to race try and get as good as a return for
your investment as you possibly can”.
Sea Siren Looking the Goods for Ascot
This afternoon at Royal Randwick, John O’Shea
has the single acceptor of last start winner White Sage to fly the flag for his
stable. After overcoming a tardy start, the filly by Reset travelled in a
mid-field position and sprinted clear to win by a margin of 2.3 lengths, running
her last 600m in the slick time of 33.39.
Looking forward to the race this afternoon,
O’Shea is more than happy with his filly.
"White Sage is going really well and I am
happy with her, especially after her emphatic win last start,” O’Shea explained
"However, looking forward to today, there
is a query about where she will be positioned from her awkward gate, but
nevertheless should be hard to beat” the astute horseman conceded.
In what seems like the perfect race for her
and with premier jockey Nash Rawiller aboard, White Sage looks to add another
stroke to her tally.
Impressive Lucky Lago Heads O'Shea Double
SYDNEY, Wednesday 29 May, 2013 – Grand Slam winning jockey Jim Cassidy believes Lucky Lago has the potential to be a spring carnival contender following a dominant win at Warwick Farm.
The John O'Shea trained filly was most impressive when taking on the older mares this afternoon at Warwick Farm, cruising to a comfortable victory at only her fourth career start.
ABOVE: Promising youngster, Lucky Lago streaked older rivals by seven lengths.
"She has always impressed me this girl, I rode her when she was a yearling and right from day one she showed potential," Cassidy said.
"She is knee high to a grass hopper but she has an engine, once she gets to ten furlongs she will come in to her own.
"I think she is good enough to be in Melbourne for the spring, don't worry about that."
O'Shea indicated that Lucky Lago would have another run this preparation before preparing for the spring carnival.
"It was very, very, very impressive," O'Shea said.
"Obviously the blinkers have helped her and the cut in the ground is no issue.
"There is a listed race over a mile in Brisbane for her on Saturday week that we pencilled in should she run well today, I'll have a chat to Jimmy and see how she pulls up.
"She has got a good future and we are very happy."
Lucky Lago is beautifully bred, being by Encosta de Lago out of Dizelle.
"The Queensland Oaks would have been too early for her, we had her in the race but it would have come too quick," O'Shea said.
"I think 2000m would just about pull her up, that will probably be as far as we will go with her."
O'Shea had further success this afternoon training a back to back race double when Nothing Like Luca was too good in the Warwick Farm Handicap (1300 m) on the last event.
Ridden by Nash Rawiller, Nothing Like Luca was travelling awkardly early in the race but Rawiller kept the rising six year old out clear in the better ground just off the speed.
Rawiller kept his mout nursed rounding for home and once balanced he shot Nothing Like Luca away clear to account for rivals with ease.
Nothing Like Luca was an inherited galloper for O'Shea and has recorded two wins in as many starts for the Randwick conditioner.
Sea Siren to be set for Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot
SYDNEY, Tuesday 28 May, 2013 – John O’Shea’s triple Group 1 winning sprinting mare Sea Siren has been confirmed a start at next month's Royal Ascot meeting with her second in the Doomben 10,000.
The triple Group One winning sprinter redeemed her BTC Cup failure when she beat all but three-year-old Epaulette in the Brisbane feature on Saturday.
A recent acquisition for international concern Coolmore Stud, Sea Siren will be in the care of trainer O'Shea until after she runs in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (22nd June), the race won last year by Black Caviar.
RIGHT: Sea Siren to campaign at Royal Ascot.
A daughter of Coolmore Stud’s champion stallion Fastnet Rock, Sea Siren has been booked to be served by Galileo and will remain in Europe after she races at Royal Ascot.
O'Shea said the mare would go to Melbourne next week ahead of the trip to England.
“She has arrived home here at Randwick and her post race condition is excellent, although it’s not ideal floating back here to Sydney then down to Melbourne for her flight, but it is what it is.” O’Shea explained.
“We just have to keep her happy and healthy and my team will assess her condition on arrival in England,”
“It’s a real thrill to be travelling internationally to such a prestigious meeting that is Royal Ascot and to be doing it for Coolmore Stud who we are grateful for leaving the mare in our care and to be able to achieve a result away from our home for them would be great.”
Sea Siren will depart from Melbourne for England in the early hours of next Thursday morning.
Whilst the focus is up in Queensland with the running of the Doomben 10,000, racing returns to Royal Randwick this afternoon and John O’Shea’s racing manager Bryce Heys looks set to be in for a few interviews with TVN’s Richard Callander.
First starter Bernabeu looks set to open his racing account at his home track this afternoon. However, the racing gods have not made it easy for him with allocating him barrier 12. If looks and class are anything to go by and John’s estimation, this should be his easiest assignment. O’Shea ran out of superlatives when describing the gelding by Fastnet Rock “Bernabeu is extremely talented and will move on to bigger and better things”. When fixed odd’s markets opened on Thursday, Bernabeu was crunched in from $5.80 to $3.50 and looks to only be getting shorter.
In the benchmark 74 over 2000 metres, Champion Thoroughbreds’ Sir Denzel will lead the field out and Fancy Dress will also take up her spot in the race. O’Shea was confident Sir Denzel will run a strong 2000 meters and will relish the wet track. After over racing for most of the race last start, Fancy Dress will need to curb her erratic ways but should still be right in the mix of things.
After having the run of the race last start, Champion Thoroughbreds’ other runner Carmine King looks to get his chance in the benchmark 80 over 1200m. O’Shea described the race as “ a very open race” and that with one good barrier and another ok barrier, Carmine King and Hendricus look to be well placed and will get their chance.
John's runner in the last race Hoss Amor was scratched after the heavy 9 that was put up this morning.
Having settled in to their new enviroment, John O’Shea’s four runners this afternoon at Doomben in Queensland look to be well placed and ready to run up to expectation in their respective races. Bound to Blush, Bound for Earth, Sea Siren and Steps in Time will represent O’Shea in his home state.
The first of the O’Shea runners is Bound To Blush, who will be running in the Glenlogan Park Stakes over 1350 metres this afternoon with Hugh Bowman in the saddle. O’Shea was disappointed with the filly’s wide barrier allotted to her but boisterous with her chances.
“It is a terrible gate, however the filly has good gate speed to be able to get across and slot in and if she can get a good run in transit, should be very hard to beat”. Bound To Blush is currently a $33 dollar chance and is interestingly much shorter at the price of $9 on fixed odds.
The second of O’Shea’s Doomben runners is Bound For Earth who is by super sprinter Northern Meteor and is running in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes. After being hampered shortly after they jumped last start and drawing the extreme outside, Bound For Earth worked home nicely to be beaten only 2.6 lengths. O’Shea had nothing but praise for the two-year-old filly “Bound For Earth is going very well and is a good chance this afternoon”. Bound For Earth is currently a $7.50 chance and has expatriate rider Glyn Schofield in the saddle.
And the final race for O’Shea’s runners in the sunshine state this afternoon is the headline act, the Doomben 10,000. Both Sea Siren and Steps In Time will line up in the race. Sea Siren is looking to make it back-to-back winnings of this race after taking out this race last year. “If Sea Siren can find her form, she should be right in the mix of this race” O’Shea said.
With Steps In Time resuming after a brief break after her 0.7 length 4th in the Coolmore Classic, O’Shea had said that she deserves her chance at a the race, however going from a restricted race to weight for age will be testing for her. Sea Siren is a $13.50 chance whilst Steps In Time is a $12 chance.
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O'Shea Two Pronged Attack on 10000
SYDNEY, Friday 24 May, 2013 – Randwick conditioner John O'Shea, trainer of top mares Sea Siren and Steps In Time, is hoping for a firmer track surface to bring young gun Your Song back to the field in the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350 m) tomorrow.
Your Song was dominant in his BTC Cup victory accounting for rivals by five lengths last start.
But O'Shea isn't prepared to concede the Doomben 10,000 to Your Song.
"All of Your Song's statistics were on wet tracks and he was far too good in the heavy conditions in the BTC Cup," O'Shea said.
"But he has to run 1350m and is back on top of the ground this time so let's see if we can't level the ledger."
Sea Siren ran only eighth behind Your Song in the BTC Cup while stablemate Steps In Time hasn't started since her close fourth in the Coolmore Classic back in March.
Hall of Fame jockey Jim Cassidy rides Sea Siren, while Nash Rawiller has been engaged for Steps In Time.
ABOVE: Sea Siren will defend her Doomben 10000 title tomorrow afternoon.
Sea Siren won the Doomben 10,000 twelve months ago but has been unplaced in three starts this autumn.
O'Shea maintains the three time Group 1 winner, Sea Siren, is going well enough to be very competitive in Saturday's big race.
"I've been happy with her all preparation, she just needs to get a track that suits," the trainer said.
Sea Siren will race in the famed Navy colours tomorrow for her new owners Coolmore Stud.
Steps In Time has purposely been held back after the Autumn for a crack at the 10,000 but O’Shea is aware of the rise in grade for the consistent mare.
ABOVE: Steps In Time will set the pace in the Grou 1 feature tomorrow at Doomben.
"The Doomben 10,000 is a big jump in grade for her as she has been racing against mares," O'Shea said.
"But she is going very well and had a nice barrier trial earlier this month and being able to utilise the services of Nash only adds merit to her performing very well tomorrow."
Patience is a Virtue - Steps In Time
When John O’Shea went to the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales at Newmarket, he did not expect that the expensive purchase of Fastrock would lead to him acquiring the colts younger sister Steps in Time. Owners N J Hoar, M J Everett & J S Jackson raced the handy mare ‘Rare Insight’ with Hall of Fame trainer John Hawkes, but after an unfortunate paddock accident, her career was cut short and was subsequently sent to the breeding barn.
Rare Insight being Hoar, Everett and Jackson's first mare they had sent to the breeding barn, they followed ‘‘breeding 101’’ and kept the fillies and sold the colts through the sale ring. It was after John bought Fastrock and the owners followed the colts career that they decided on giving O’Shea the opportunity to train their first filly and the rest as they say, is history.
O’Shea was mesmerised by the looks and the amount of scope the filly by Danehill Dancer showed at such a young age and predicted a bright future for the filly to his newly attained clients. The astute horseman and trainer from Northern Queensland showed his patience and gave the robust youngster time to grow into herself. He did this by taking her up the F3 to Gosford for a trial in May 2010 where she won the trial impressively over 900m and then tipped her out. In that simple exercise by O’Shea, it gave the filly the experience of what would be to come on race day and there is no doubt that it played a role to help the filly mature.
After spelling for a couple of months, O’Shea brought the now 3 year-old filly back in to work. She was trialled twice in November of 2010. A couple of days before Christmas, Steps In Time was to race at Canterbury over 1250m with Christian Reith aboard and jumped from barrier 6. After jumping, Steps In Time was allowed to settle a tad worse than midfield and over powered the opposition to win by 1.3 lengths. This win justified John’s opinion, as it was not only impressive on the track, it was equally as impressive on the stopwatch. Northern Meteor holds the course record at Canterbury Park and Steps In Time was just a ‘tick’ outside his record.
At a time when it is the festive season and everyone seems to have a spring in their step, the owners and O’Shea had even more reason to be jolly. The satisfaction that was provided from this win was something that keeps owners, trainers, jockeys and other racing participants to keep providing the financial and rigorous labour to keep this industry a float.
After that win, O’Shea and the owners showed further patience by spelling her with the tail end of the Autumn Carnival in Sydney and the Winter Carnival in Brisbane in their sights. After returning impressively in her track work and trials, Steps In Time was out to prove that her first win was no fluke, and she did not disgrace herself.
At her second ever start on a Dead 5 in the P J Bell Stakes at Canterbury, she into the Chris Waller mudlark Red Tracer being only beaten 0.3 lengths. Steps In time went on to compete in the Hawkesbury Guineas on the wettest track she had raced on. However, the genuine filly still ran a gallant 3rd only being beaten 2.5 lengths.
It was in Queensland where Steps In Time broke through for black-type success at just her fourth start. It was in the Daybreak Lover over 1400m at Eagle Farm, where Corey Brown overcame barrier 15 and gave Steps In Time her first shot at Group One glory in the Tattersall’s Tiara which was to be at her fifth career start. That race was not meant to be for Steps in Time as she was racing against seasoned mares and was coming to the end of her first real preparation.
After having less than six months off in the paddock, O’Shea prepared Steps In Time for the best preparation of her career at that stage. In January, just over twelve months after her first race start, Steps In Time was back to Canterbury Park to where she would contest in an open class race and would subsequently beat experienced Group One horses.
Twenty-One days later, Steps In Time was aided by a brilliant James Arthur Cassidy ride. That day, the now mare took out the Group Two New South Wales Thoroughbred Breeders Classic at Warwick Farm, beating a hot field that included the Peter Snowden trained Beaded and turned the tables on Red Tracer.
Steps In Time returned to Warwick Farm three weeks later to add the Wiggle Stakes to her curriculum vitae with Cassidy aboard again.
The patience of Hoar, Everett, Jackson and O’Shea showed with this mare by spacing her runs and placing her to perfection was starting to pay dividends. Steps In Time had now earned her place in a Group One, however the Group One that was coming her way, is one of the most sought after races for mares.
Steps In Time was sent out the $3.90 favourite for the Coolmore Classic at Rosehill during the Golden Slipper Festival in 2012. After partnering with Steps In Time for her whole preparation, Jimmy Cassidy jumped from barrier twelve and had to work hard to take up the running in the thirteen-horse field. Steps In Time was not dishonoured, having only being beaten 4 lengths.
Steps In Time had earned quality time off in a paddock after her best preparation yet and another shot at the lucrative Winter Carnival in Brisbane would be held off for this year.
After failing to finish in the placings her first two starts back in the Toy Show and the Tramway as a five year-old mare, Steps In Time returned to form at her home track Randwick to take out the Bill Ritchie Handicap over 1400m with Jimmy Cassidy in the saddle. That win made the owners and O’Shea’s decision to give Steps In Time her first crack at the Spring Carnival in Melbourne. However, the mare out of Rare Insight finished her preparation as she started it, by finishing out of the placings in the Toorak Handicap and the Herald Sun Stakes.
After having a couple of months of rest and relaxation, Steps In Time was brought back to 28 high street to where she would be given another chance to claim that coveted Group 1 glory. Making it consecutive New South Wales Thoroughbred Breeders Classics and Wiggle Stakes, Steps in time went out again in the Coolmore Classic a year later 10 cents longer than her price of $3.90 the previous year. Improving on her eighth and four-length defeat of 2012 in the Coolmore, Steps In Time ran a promising fourth only being beaten just over half-a-length, overcoming the widest of barriers.
Looking to the future, a Group One seems to be the only thing that has eluded this ever-consistent mare. The Brisbane Winter Carnival could be Steps In Time’s moment to shine. There is no doubt Steps In Time, Hoar, Everett, Jackson and O’Shea deserve it after the patience they have shown with this mare.
Lighting up Doomben and Kembla Grange
Champion Thoroughbreds’ Lightinthenite will race this afternoon in the Doomben Cup at 3:40pm (AEST). After railing up in the A D Hollindale at the Gold Coast, Lightinthenite gets his chance to improve on his 5th behind Lights of Heaven and Foreteller (respectively) today at Doomben.
The ultra consistent son of Galileo has Nicholas Hall aboard him this afternoon and has the task of overcoming barrier 13. When speaking to John O’Shea this morning, O’Shea was upbeat about Lightinthenite’s chance of obtaining Group One glory.
“The cut in the ground will help his cause and he will be ridden quieter today which suits him’’.
“The other day he was disadvantaged when he went up the rail on the worst part of the track”.
O’Shea was of the opinion Lightinthenite was a $12 chance and is good value at $26.
When asked about the stables runners at Kembla Grange this afternoon, O’Shea was optimistic about the prospects of his runners at the south coast racetrack.
“Never had we had this amount of runners at Kembla Grange, especially with this many chances” the astute horseman conceded.
“There is a good 4-5 winning chances down there this afternoon” he said.
When asked about the stables best chances, it was visible that O’Shea had trouble splitting them. “Spurs and Sashes is a top chance and White Sage should fight the finish out”. Spurs and Sashes was scratched this afternoon from the meeting at Scone to run at Kembla Grange and White Sage is having its first start after showing promise in its trials.
Nothing Quite Like Luca
John O’Shea Racing’s new acquirement Nothing Like Lucabroke through for a metropolitan win at his first start for his new stable which was aided by a brilliant James McDonald ride.
McDonald, who is John O’Shea Racing’s stable rider, is jetting off to Singapore for their headline meeting over this weekend. After riding in Singapore, McDonald will head over to England on the 25th of May and ride over the British summer up until Royal Ascot. McDonald will be based with Charles Hills who has promised to supply the ‘Kiwi Whiz’ with plenty of rides over his stint. John O’Shea Racing wishes him every success.
Whilst John O’Shea Racing’s stable rider is abroad enjoying tea and crumpets and a taste of royalty, John O’Shea is excited for the winter prospects for his winner yesterday at Canterbury Park. ‘Luca’ (Nothing Like Luca’s stable name) jumped well and settled three back on the fence after a nice tempo was set in front by the leaders.
Around the 500-metre mark, McDonald eased ‘Luca’ into a three wide position and was clearly the best horse travelling around the tight corner at Canterbury Park. After fending off the rest of the field, ‘Luca’ wore down the leader to win by a margin just under half a length.
O’Shea emphasised how important it is to win for new owners especially when they have entrusted you with their horse from another trainer. When speaking about Nothing Like Luca, O’Shea said, “Nothing Like Luca is a talented horse and has a nice winter ahead of him”.
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Canterbury Part 15/5
John O’Shea heads to Canterbury on Wednesday with a nice number of entries, which seem to be well placed in their respective races. Taking time out of his busy schedule, O’Shea gives an insightful perspective about his runners on Wednesday this morning.
Commanding Wit, a filly by ultra consistent sire Commands, finds herself in a winnable race with O’Shea taking the Canterbury option over the more lucrative Scone opportunity.
Having only one race start for a second at Wyong, the similarities of the tracks should find able to overcome the tight turning track that Canterbury Park can sometimes be. Without being over confident, O’Shea was of the opinion that this was a nice race for Commanding Wit to resume her preparation.
When asked about the chances of Champion Thoroughbreds two-year-old Passarli in Race 3, O’Shea was very happy with him “Passarli is a nice horse and is very happy at home”.
The son of War Pass is stepping back to mid-week company and has the advantage over the other runners of having a previous start at Canterbury Park.
In Race 5, O’Shea has two runners in this race; Champion Thoroughbreds Carmine King and recently acquired Nothing Like Luca. After drawing a horrible barrier, Carmine King resumes with Jenny Duggan aboard and comes into contention with 57.5 kilograms and jumping from a more reasonable barrier in 3.
Nothing Like Luca a new John O’Shea attainment, has stable jockey James McDonald aboard and looks well placed in this race. John’s opinion of the horse is that “he has settled well into his new environment” and that he has come through his trial well. The son of Nothin’ Lieca Dane trialled in excellent fashion and in the process beat a ‘hot’ trial heat that included dual hemisphere group one winning mare Ortensia.
Upon reflecting on his acceptances for the inner-west racetrack, O’Shea conceded he had a “nice hand” and is confident as always of his horses running up to their true potential.
Rosehill Gardens 11/5
With Carmine King scratched out of Race 8 at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow, it is left to Fancy Dress to fly the flag for the John O’Shea Racing Stable in Sydney tomorrow.
After winning last start at Gosford by 1.3 lengths with Jason Collett in the saddle, fellow New Zealand native James McDonald takes back over the reins after winning the maiden of the Savabeel filly on Keith Nolen Classic day.
John’s estimation of the Fancy Dress is that she is an “aggressive filly”; however taking that next step from a Provincial Benchmark 65 to a Metropolitan Benchmark 75 is imperative if she is to get to her grand finale for this preparation. John explained “She is on track for the Queensland Oaks, the 1900 metres will suit. However, the filly will need to overcome an awkward draw”.
Fancy Dress is in Race 4 over 1900 metres with James Mc Donald in the saddle to begin from barrier 13
Kembla Grange 11/5
Having its first start tomorrow, Savvy Nature will be one of two runners at Kembla Grange for John O’Shea Racing.
Frenchman Thomas Huet will be legged aboard Savvy Nature in the 2yo Maiden Plate over 1400m. Huet who came to Australia over the summer to ride track work for Gai Waterhouse has become a permanent fixture on the Saturday provincial circuit is having his first ride for John O'Shea Racing.
When speaking to John regarding Savvy Nature’s chances tomorrow he had nothing but praise for the young Savabeel gelding and was bullish regarding its chances “ Savvy Nature is a professional, who the stable has a high opinion of and I am confident of his chances tomorrow”.
The other runner for John O’Shea Racing is Cheers Browe with Grant Buckley in the saddle. Buckley will be looking to help Cheers Browe go one better as he takes over from stable apprentice Lester Grace who gave the gelding every chance after leading up until the shadows of the winning post.
Cheers Browe is having his third run for this preparation and John is of the opinion “Cheers Browe is reaching his peak for this prep being third up. He needs to overcome the wide gate of 17.” O’Shea admitted it could be a blessing in disguise for the son of Savabeel as he is racing towards the end of the eight race card and jockeys could be searching for the better ground with the rail being 6 metres out from the true position.
Race No. Distance Horse Barrier Jockey
2 1400 Savvy Nature 8 Thomas Huet
7 1600 Cheers Browe 17 Grant Buckley
Sea Siren Set To Defend Winter Crown
SYDNEY, Friday 10 May, 2013 – The much speculated sale of glamour mare Sea Siren has been completed and finalised and she will race in the colours of Keith Biggs for the final time tomorrow in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200 m) at Eagle Farm.
The new owners, world thoroughbred power house Coolmore Stud, will then fly their all navy colours on Sea Siren in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) the following fortnight.
Trainer John O'Shea expects that Coolmore will be delighted when Sea Siren tries to make it back-to-back BTC Cups.
ABOVE: Triple Group 1 winning mare Sea Siren is looking to add to that.
The daughter of resident Coolmore super sire Fastnet Rock has arrived safely in Brisbane after her work on Tuesday morning at Randwick that she is near her peak.
"She's been working well and she's been set for the Brisbane winter as opposed to having her ready early this preparation," O'Shea said.
"She worked well on Tuesday morning, she's happy and healthy, there's a bit of speed in the race on Saturday, and that will give us the opportunity to ride her where she's comfortable."
Jockey Jimmy Cassidy was delighted with barrier three, not to mention having Sydney speedster Rain Affair one gate inside him.
"It should set up nicely for us," Cassidy said.
"Her trial the other day was good and her two runs this time in have been good.
"She's nearly back to where she was fitness-wise.
"She's ready to stand up and be counted again. I couldn't be happier with her. I galloped her Tuesday morning and she has done everything right.
"I will be taking my A-game - hopefully she brings hers." Cassidy quipped.
Progressing In More Than A Lucky Manner
SYDNEY, Tuesday 7 May, 2013 – Randwick trainer John O’Shea appears to have placed Lucky Lago to advantage again when she makes her third career start tomorrow at Canterbury Park in the THOROUGHBRED REHABILITATION TRUST HANDICAP over 1550 m.
Lucky Lago is a homebred for Keith Biggs and is a daughter of Encosta De Lago out of Bigg’s former glamour staying filly Dizelle.
In her two career starts to date she ran a very brave second at Hawkesbury at the beginning of April when receiving a tough run throughout and then justified how classy a run it was when proving too strong for a comfortable two length win over the 1400 m at Warwick Farm.
“She has been a filly that we have given plenty of time which she seems to have appreciated and probably still has some way to go physically.” O’Shea explained.
“She has trained on in lovely order and in terms of her fitness she will be at peak being third up,”
O’Shea did warn of the three year old filly’s winning chances due to the race conditions.
“There is some cause for concern in terms of her being able to win tomorrow as she has drawn disgracefully.” O’Shea said.
“We are happy with her overall condition and we will leave it in Jimmy’s capable hands to negotiate the right run.”
The Randwick conditioner will also saddle two other runners the first being scratched at the barriers last week at Kembla Grange.
“Papillon Rouge who has had the most ideal preparation having to go through what she did last Tuesday at Kembla,”
“However she has since trialled on Friday and there no such issues when loading into the barriers.”
“She too is drawn terribly but is a filly that shows good ability and can make her own in terms of her racing pattern.”
The third runner will be Hendricus first up into his preparation tomorrow.
ABOVE: Hendricus resumes tomorrow at Canterbury Park.
“Hendricus has had some time off and consequently is a much bigger horse in terms of his strength and condition and that in itself will mean he will benefit from the run but he does have a good barrier to get an ideal run.”
“Whatever he does he will improve dramatically from.” O’Shea added.
Lightinthenite Coming to a Career Peak
Gold Coast, Friday 3 May, 2013 - John O'Shea has carefully selected a team of six for his Queensland carnival assault, which will be led by Lightinthenite in the Hollindale Stakes (1800 metres) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
ABOVE: Lightinthenite out too prove his ability at Weight For Age Level.
"I probably didn't have the horses for the Sydney carnival, so we waited with a couple of them for Brisbane and I think they are the right types to go up there and be successful,'' O'Shea said.
"Lightinthenite has always been a very good horse and there is nice program of races for him in Queensland, which we have targeted.''
Lightinthenite won the 2000m David Jones Cup on Caulfield Cup day at his third run from a spell. O'Shea has crafted a similar pattern for him this autumn.
He resumed in the Ajax Stakes when he held his ground for fourth, in a leader dominated affair.
Second up this time in Lightinthenite finished midfield in the Doncaster, 4¼ lengths from the winner.
"He has had the two runs, and his Doncaster run was very good,'' O'Shea explained.
"It is first time to weight-for-age but he has proven he is worth having a crack with at this level.''
O'Shea has a history of choosing the right horse to take Brisbane. Private Steer won the Stradbroke and last year Sea Siren took out the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000.
Sea Siren will return to defend her BTC crown.
O'Shea will take Bound To Blush to the Gold Coast for the Silk Stocking.
"She has a very good record first-up and very good at 1200 m and I expect her to run well,'' he said.
Tim Clark, just back from Hong Kong, rides the O'Shea pair.
Bound For The Future
SYDNEY, Wednesday 24 April, 2013 - John O'Shea could possibly consider a trip to Brisbane for impressive debut winner Bound To Earth, who comfortably broke her maiden Canterbury Park this afternoon.
In the hands of premiership leading hoop Tommy Berry, Bound To Earth took advantage of a slow early tempo by racing outside the leader and kicked strongly on straightening to win by one and a half lengths.
ABOVE: Classy on debut, Bound For Earth accounts for rivals with ease.
Bound For Earth, by Northern Meteor out of Bulla Borghese, eased from $2 to $2.50 with on course bookmakers but never looked in trouble throughout the run.
"We will just get her home and see how she pulls up, ideally I'd like to give her one more run here and then possibly look at a race in Brisbane," O'Shea said.
"I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves yet but it was good to see her start her career like that."
Berry wasn't expecting to settle so close to the lead but said the professionalism of Bound To Earth allowed him to race in a handy position.
"John said before the race that she is very versatile and very professional and she showed that," he said.
"I think she will be better over further and probably ridden a little quieter.
O'Shea agreed with Berry and indicated she would appreciate a rise in distance.
"Her mother was an Oaks winner but it was a Victorian Oaks and sometimes it is there quality that gets her home, I would think a mile would pull her up," he said.
On Debut & Bound For Canterbury Park
SYDNEY, Wednesday 24 April, 2013 – Coming off an impressive last start trial win Bound For Earth will make her debut this afternoon in the AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1250 m) at Canterbury Park for John O’Shea.
Bound For Earth is a two year old filly by Northern Meteor out of VRC Oaks Group 1 winning mare Bulla Borghese who O’Shea purchased for Kevin and Lesley Maloney’s Segenhoe Thoroughbreds from 2012 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
“We are very fortunate to be entrusted with the care of some of the Segenhoe Stud Bloodstock and, this is one of many nice fillies they have acquired,”
“This filly has continued to improve into her preparation and will do so into the future.” O’Shea explained.”
O’Shea has given Bound For Earth two barrier trials in preparation running second in her first trial effort and then coming off the speed to win her most recent public day out.
“We have only brought her along very steadily and she is a lovely style of filly that still has some maturing to do so whatever she does today she will build on going forward.”
“In saying that she is in great shape for today’s debut and she has a nice barrier to get the right run.” O’Shea added.
Due to the suspension of James McDonald Bound For Earth will be ridden by form jockey of the Autumn Carnival, Tommy Berry.
Group 1 Doncaster Berth for Lightinthenite
SYDNEY, Thursday 18 April, 2013 – The country’s biggest mile race, the Group 1 BMW Doncaster Handicap (1600 m) awaits the John O’Shea trained Lightinthenite at Royal Randwick.
The famed ‘Randwick Mile’ is one where only the tough survive and O’Shea has prepared the Champion Thoroughbreds managed five year old gelding to run second up into his Autumn preparation this Saturday afternoon.
“Lightinthenite has come to hand in great order this time in, he was good first up and has taken significant improvement into Saturday,”
ABOVE: Knockout, Lightinthenite is readied for Saturday's Doncaster Handicap.
“He will need to do so, in what is a high quality field, but he has drawn to get a lovely run and with the right run from Froggy (jockey Craig Newitt) and he will give a cheeky account of himself.” O’Shea explained.
Lightinthenite has always raced consistently and six wins from sixteen starts is evidence of his competiveness, the highlight victory being in the Spring last October at Caulfield winning the Group 3 Coongy Handicap over 2000 m.
“He has had an unterupted preparation and you definitely need that going into any race especially into a Group 1 and he has performed well here at his home track over the mile when running fourth in last year's Epsom Handicap.”
Lightinthenite is managed by Champion Thoroughbreds who O’Shea told of how this horse is a credit to their work.
“Champion Thoroughbreds are a key part of my stable and to have a runner in the Doncaster on Saturday is huge, it is a credit to them as they had Diamond Oasis run in a two year old stakes race last week, Doncaster this week and next week will have Sir Denzel who is getting ready for Queensland Derby run in the Frank Packer Plate.” O’Shea enthused.
Kingdoms Readied For Derby War
SYDNEY, Thursday 11 April, 2013 - Randwick trainer John O’Shea is excited about the staying prospects of his High Chaparral colt Kingdoms who contests Saturday’s David Jones Australian Derby (2400 m) at Royal Randwick.
Kingdoms is coming off a fourth in the Rosehill Guineas behind Australian Derby favourite It’s A Dundeel, yet O’Shea is happy to be taking that colt on again in Saturday’s Derby.
“To be honest we were a bit disappointed with the scratching of Fiveandahalfstar because it has taken a guaranteed good pace out of the race,” O’Shea said.
Kingdoms drew the outside barrier, 10, for Michael Rodd, but O’Shea said the horse will be ridden back in the field this week.
ABOVE: Kingdoms is a genuine staying prospect contesting the Derby distance.
“His run in the Rosehill Guineas was very good, but he’s a much better horse ridden quietly and that’s how he will be ridden on Saturday,” he said.
“We feel he’s a really strong stayer, a genuine stayer who will run out a strong mile and a half (2400m),”
“We have been most impressed with the manner in which Kingdoms has coped physically and mentally the further he has got into his prep.” O’Shea added.
McDonald Enthused By Golden Slipper Barrier Draw
SYDNEY, Thursday 4 April, 2013 – On the eve of the World’s richest juvenile race, the Group 1 Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200 m), form jockey James McDonald is excited by the prospect of his charge Romantic Moon.
ABOVE: James McDonald aboard Romantic Moon charging to victory in the Sweet Embrace
Stakes in the lead up to Saturday's $3.5 Million Golden Slipper.
McDonald has ridden Romantic Moon in all three of her career starts to date and once again has been engaged by Randwick Trainer John O’Shea to guide the More Than Ready filly.
Since making Sydney home from his native New Zealand the young gun kiwi hoop’s confidence is sky high after guiding dominant three year old It’s A Dundeel too two Group 1 victories in the Autumn carnival so far, the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas respectively.
“The Slipper is a unique race in itself and it’s a race that provides an excitement level like no other.” McDonald described.
McDonald will ride in the high pressure juvenile event for the second time on Saturday at Rosehill Gardens after riding one of O’Shea’s colts, Ashokan last year to an unplaced effort.
“Last year we drew the outside and despite running a huge race my colt had no luck what so ever.”
“Obviously I myself am better for the experience now and I am fortunate to have the support of the O’Shea yard who have continued their support of me and who have horse’s for Gooree Pastoral who own Romantic Moon.” McDonald enthused.
O’Shea has applied the winkers to Romantic Moon’s gear for her acid test on Saturday.
“My filly has never put a foot wrong and she has continued on an upward spiral to a peak which will be Saturday, John has left no stone unturned .”
“She has just continued to improve every week and her work with the winkers on, on Tuesday morning was first class, she is very fit.” McDonald explained.
“All we need is the luck in the running now, as Romantic Moon will run out a strong six furlongs and it is also a big relief that we have drawn the ideal barrier (6) which gives us plenty of options and hopefully affords us the right run to present, so we can fight the finish out.”
“I can’t wait.” The excited kiwi hoop added.
Twisting & Turning into the Group 1 Arena
SYDNEY, Friday 29 March, 2013 - Attitude is everything at the elite level in racing and continual improvement in that department has resulted in a start for a talented three-year-old in tomorrow’s $500,000 Group I MJ Bale Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Randwick conditioner John O'Shea has always had high expectations for Twisted Emotions but the three year old son of Danewin proved to be his own worst enemy prior to the current campaign, which has reaped two wins from two starts.
Twisted Emotions made his debut in a Kembla Maiden in May last year. The inexperienced galloper threw the race away when running about erratically in the straight before finishing second.
Following that effort, O'Shea spelled Twisted Emotions before the horse returned later that year. In four starts his tendency to overrace harmed his chances when placed behind Our Desert Warrior, Rowie and Fiveandahalfstar.
"He's always been a nice horse but he was his own worst enemy in the past," O'Shea said.
"I had high hopes for him last preparation but when he couldn't beat a horse called Fiveandahalfstar I turned him out thinking he was disappointing.”
"Looking back, he was probably going better than we gave him credit for but in saying that he's a better horse now and I am very happy that we did stop and turn him out."
This preparation, O'Shea has brought Twisted Emotions along quietly, taking the horse to Goulburn first-up when he dismantled a three-year-old set weights race over 1300 metres with consummate ease.
He then ventured to Gosford for a midweek metropolitan race over a mile and he scored a narrow but authoritative win.
"We always believed Hugh [Bowman] was the key to this horse and it was a matter of finding suitable races firstly for the horse but also where we could engage Hugh to ride him.” O’Shea explained.
"He just lets him get back and relax, then produces him with one run.”
"When he relaxes he's got a good turn of foot for a staying type of horse."
Tomorrow, Twisted Emotions faces by far his toughest test when tackling the likes of former nemesis Fiveandahalfstar, now a proven Group I performer, and multiple Group I winner and star three year old It's A Dundeel.
"I've been very happy with his performances this preparation and hopefully that reflects on Saturday," O'Shea said.
"We are under no illusions as to the enormity of the task but it looks like he'll get a genuine tempo on tomorrow which is important for our chances.”
"He compares favourably to Zabrasive but in saying that this is a much harder Rosehill Guineas than the year Zabrasive won it.
"I'll be happy if he runs in the first four and lays a good foundation for the Australian Derby."
Sea Siren's Autumn Return
SYDNEY, Thursday 28 March, 2013 – John O’Shea’s crack sprinter Sea Siren will resume her Autumn aspiration on Saturday at Rosehill Gardens.
The triple Group 1 winning daughter of Fastnet Rock tackles the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100 m) where she is allotted second top weight to Hay List (59.5kg) in the Handicap, and she is 4kg above the minimum weight.
ABOVE: Sea Siren was dynamic first up last preparation winning the Manikato.
Last year, Sea Siren won the BTC Cup, Doomben 10,000 and the Manikato Stakes, and after the Manikato she ran second in the Patinack Classic up the Flemington straight before heading the Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin in December.
Sea Siren received a torrid run when trapped deep and pressing for the lead in the Hong Kong, and O’Shea has given her plenty of time to get over the taxing trip.
Under the circumstances, the mare's effort when ninth, less than six lengths from the brilliant Japanese winner Lord Kanaloa, was satisfactory.
O’Shea lamented how he had brought Sea Siren up very steadily and that there is still “plenty in the tank” for her assignments after Saturday.
“Her work Tuesday morning was right up to the mark in terms of a sign that she is back to where we would expect her to be to be competitive in Group One arena over the Autumn.” O’Shea said.
“As there is speed drawn wide Jimmy will be having to hold his spot, but he is obviously more than capable he we will be leaving it up to him in terms of working the race out in the run.”
“I’m really happy with her.” O’Shea added.
Testing Weight Conditions for Steps In Time in Coolmore
SYDNEY, Friday 22 March, 2013 - Trainer John O’Shea says Steps In Time is a victim of her consistency, which could well impede her chances of winning her first Group I in tomorrow’s $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Steps In Time has an enviable race record winning eight of her 16 career starts including being two from two this preparation leading into the Coolmore.
ABOVE: Faultless, Steps In Time is unbeaten this preparation.
At Group and Listed level she has won on six occasions from 14 runs but the damning statistic is from three Group I runs she’s finished no closer that seventh.
Racing NSW handicappers allotted Steps In Time with a weight of 57.5kg.
Both Appearance and Pear Tart have won open age Group I races yet are in receipt of weight from Steps In Time.
Three-year-old fillies Dear Demi and Norzita have both won three-year-old Group I events and under the Australian weight-for-age scale for the distance range in March, are weighted equally with Steps In Time, being in receipt of 3kg from the older mare.
"I couldn’t be happier with her coming into the race but she’s got a monumentally big task carrying that kind of weight to win a Group I race,” O’Shea said.
"She hasn’t won a Group I race yet – there’s six other Group I winners in the race and she’s conceding weight to five of them.”
O’Shea’s other concern heading into Saturday is the outside barrier of 15 for the daughter of Danehill Dancer.
"They less work you do earlier the better, but we will leave that job up too Nash as he is more than capable of handling that obstacle” he said.
"It gives a lot of horses the opportunity to kick up and make her do a bit of work.”
"Nash will just role forward and how quick he goes will be dependent upon how much pressure is exerted on him in the early stages of the race.”
The Randwick trainer said Saturday will be Steps In Time’s last start during Sydney Carnival, declaring the Queensland Winter Carnival is a more attractive option for the four-year-old mare.
"Paddock (after Saturday) and she can go to Queensland where the handicapper can’t impact on her capacity to win a Group I,” he said.
O‘Shea’s other runner on Saturday is the talented three-year-old colt Ashokan, who lines up in the Group II Phar Lap Stakes (1500m), a race O’Shea won last year with Colorado Claire.
Colorado Claire went into the race off an eighth placing in the Canberra Guineas.
Ashokan finished second in the same race on Black Opal Stakes day 12 days ago.
"Ashokan has also drawn poorly but in terms of how he is going and his overall condition, we are very happy with him, he sems to appreciate being ridden in a quieter manner which has been the aim with him for a while.”
Slipper Berth Confirmed For Romantic Moon
SYDNEY, Saturday 16 March, 2013 - Romantic Moon booked her berth in the Golden Slipper when scoring a comprehensive win in the Group III Les Johnson Memorial Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm this afternoon.
ABOVE: Stylish, Romantic Moon booked her place in the Golden Slipper.
O’Shea said he "was happy enough with her” first-up run when Romantic Moon got going late before finishing eighth in the Silver Slipper Stakes two weeks ago.
The trainer is considering "tinkering” with Romantic Moon’s racing attire to ensure the filly gave herself the best chance of figuring in the finish of the world’s richest two-year-old race.
"We might have to give consideration to toying with some gear,” he said.
"I’d like to see her a little bit closer to be honest.
"If she was a bit tardy away in the Slipper she’ll be back with the cab-catchers so we might just look to put a set of winkers on her just to help her get a forward position.”
Romantic Moon, guided by James McDonald, came from the back half of the field to defeat Thump by a length and Greytfilly ($8), a neck back in third.
O’Shea said he was undecided if Romantic Moon would trial or have another run before the Golden Slipper on April 6.
Kingdoms Set For Challenge
SYDNEY, Tuesday 12 March, 2013 - Just as Twisted Emotions performed on Monday at Gosford to book his place next up in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas, Kingdoms will be presented with the same opportunity tomorrow at Canterbury Park.
Kingdoms is a progressive staying three old that is trained by Randwick horseman John O’Shea.
ABOVE: Promising type, Kingdoms is on trial for rich Autumn aspirations.
O’Shea saddled up Twisted Emotions yesterday over 1600 m and the staying three year old prospect was on trial for a crack at a Group 1, which he duly came through with flying colours.
Tomorrow it is Kingdoms turn to justify a place in a Group 1 event.
“Kingdoms has performed admirably in his two starts this preparation winning, and then unlucky not to have won the other night.” O’Shea explained.
“He is third up and he has done nothing but thrive throughout this preparation, he gets to a more suitable distance that the 1900 (metres) provides tomorrow at Canterbury.”
“Dependent upon his performance tomorrow we will consider the option of the Rosehill Guineas as a possible next start option.”
“Our only hesitation is the smaller, tighter Canterbury track as he really appreciates plenty of galloping room, but it is what it is and we are happy with the manner in which he will turn up for tomorrow’s run.” O’Shea warned.
O’Shea will saddle two other charges at tomorrow’s ATC Canterbury Park Meeting in the form of Rich ‘N Famous and Resumethegame.
Both aptly placed in their respective events and O’Shea gave good pushes for the two young gallopers.
“Rich ‘N Famous went down by a narrow margin the other night and it was just inexperience that beat him,”
“He is better drawn out than drawn in as he is tomorrow but it appears a more suitable race in terms of placement back to his own age than the older horses that he battled against last start.”
“Resumethegame won on debut in a race that has some solid form out of it, I cannot fault her, but it is hard to clear maiden ranks on debut and then win again in this grade.”
O’Shea has engaged James McDonald in the saddle to ride all three runners tomorrow.
Steps In Time Continues Winning Streak
SYDNEY, Saturday 9 March, 2013 - Randwick trainer John O’Shea says "a more furnished” Steps In Time will take some beating in the Coolmore Classic after the mare produced a devastating front-running performance to win Saturday’s Listed Wiggle Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm.
The daughter of Danehill Dancer finished eighth in the Coolmore last year behind Ofcourseican but has shown a marked improvement this autumn winning both of her starts.
ABOVE: In form, Steps In Time streaks rivals in the Wiggle Stakes this afternoon, ridden by Nash Rawiller.
"That’s indicative of her pedigree. She seems to have really strengthened up,” O’Shea said.
"She’s racing a good 10 to 15kgs heavier this time. She’ll cop a good deal of weight in the Coolmore but she’s a mare in form.”
Winning jockey Nash Rawiller said Steps In Time "jumped brilliantly” before the pair "just bowled along” some four lengths ahead of their rivals.
"It’s hard to comprehend that she could quicken off that tempo but she did,” he said.
Jim Cassidy has been the regular rider of Steps In Time throughout most of her career. The grand-slam winning hoop gave up the ride after making a decision to partner Dear Demi in the Coolmore Classic "a month ago”.
"I wonder if he’s changed his mind,” O’Shea said.
Rawiller was taken with the "gutsy win” declaring the five-year-old a serious horse after she ran a race record time of 1.21.67 for the 1400 metres coming home the last 600 metres in 34.52 seconds.
"Hopefully I can stick with her,” he said.
Work In Progress Continues With O'Shea Youngsters
SYDNEY, Wednesday 6 March, 2013 – John O’Shea has complemented the progressive young horses in his care that are set to progress through the grades and today’s ATC meeting at Newcastle, the Randwick horseman has three runners engaged that are evidence of this.
In the first event the MERRAN WIGGINS TRAVELMANAGERS HANDICAP (1200 METRES) for the two year olds see Teo on debut who has displayed forward ability in each of his barrier trial outings.
“Teo is a lovely style of young colt who has shown nice ability at home and he is well educated heading into today’s debut.” O’Shea said.
“It looks an even sort of race and we will saddle him up today confident that he will run a race, dependent on his performance that will then obviously determine where we head this preparation.”
Chandos was harshly unlucky on debut at Kembla Grange and is an imposing colt who really attacked the line from a long way off the leaders when just missing by the narrowest of margins.
The colt by American sire Candy Ride will contest the YELLOWGLEN HANDICAP (1400 METRES).
“Chandos has taken the natural improvement in the manner in which he has trained on,”
“I wouldn’t expect him to be missing the kick today and also he gets the services of a senior rider in Corey Brown and we will be using our barrier today.” O’Shea explained.
Hey Hey Renee put the writing on the wall in her debut when unsuited by the smaller circumference of the Gosford track and she got back from a wide gate to then defy track bias of the day to really eat up the ground late running third.
“We have always had a good bit of time for this filly Hey Hey Renee,”
Hey Hey Renee will run in the fourth event on the card the GOLDEN SLIPPER LUNCHEON HANDICAP (1400 METRES).
“She has been given plenty of time to mature and she is now a big strong filly.”
“Hughie will have her where she is comfortable in the run and hopefully with the rail out six metres you will be able to make ground and all things being equal hopefully she can show the her good natural ability that she does possess.”
“She could just be looking for that bit further than the 1400 m that she runs over today.” O’Shea added.
Champion rider Hugh Bowman has been engaged to ride both Teo and Hey Hey Renee.
O'Shea'sTwo Up & Comers to Fight Out Fireball
Randwick trainer John O'Shea expects to play a major hand in Saturday's competitive $100,000 Listed Fireball Quality (1100m) at Rosehill.
The three-year-old contest is shaping as a great race with a host of proven stakes performers set to take part but O'Shea is confident his two up and comers Knight Exemplar and Charge Account can make the grade.
Charge Account has been one of Sydney racing's revelations over the summer months recording two impressive wins which O'Shea said would stand the son of his former Group I winner Charge Forward in good stead on Saturday.
"Charge Account is very fit and has got his tail in the air off a couple of good wins," he said.
"He comes in well at the weight scale and seems to get a good run on first view of the acceptances and the barriers so he's going to be very competitive."
Knight Exemplar can lay claim to one of racing's most unfortunate tags, that of one of the nation's best maidens.
Yet to win from five starts, Knight Exemplar has chased home the likes of Nechita, Jolie Bay and Rebel Dane but O'Shea appears to have an air of confidence about what lies ahead for the son of Exceed And Excel.
"He's got very good form evidenced by his form in the spring," he said. "He's run into some pretty fair horses throughout his career.
ABOVE: Talented, Charge Account, beating the older horses at his last start.
"He always performs well first-up and he'll perform well this Saturday.
"A little bit of rain won't hurt and there seems sufficient enough speed for him to go back from that gate and he'll come late."
The Randwick trainer wouldn't split his two runners ahead of Saturday but a comment he made following Charge Account's last win earlier this month could prove a pointer to the stable's best chance in the race.
"That's [Fireball Quality] when we'll find out how good he is because he's going to be taking on his stablemate Knight Exemplar and he's going pretty good," O'Shea said.
O'Shea - Plenty Of Time For Canterbury Park Charges
SYDNEY, Friday 22 February, 2013 – Two winning chance candidates at this evening’s Canterbury Park meeting look very well placed by Randwick conditioner John O’Shea.
Last start first up winner Kingdoms, who was on debut for the O’Shea yard, was impressive when accounting for rivals comfortably over 1400 m.
ABOVE: Progressive 3YO staying prospect Kingdoms.
Tonight the three year old son of High Chaparral steps up to the 1550 m distance which O’Shea hints he will appreciate but does warn.
“Kingdoms has trained on in very pleasing order and comes into tonight’s race looking for the 1550 m, however it will be a case of whether the tighter circumference of the Canterbury track suits him.”
“He will run well regardless.” O’Shea added.
Rich ‘N Famous is another three year old that O’Shea has always had time for and O’Shea explains of his progression.
“Rich ‘N Famous, we have given plenty of time and he has always possessed ability but mentally he has always been a little immature.”
“He has had two solid trial efforts and he finds a nice race tonight to kick off his preparation and he might just be a young horse that could find himself featuring somewhere in the Autumn at some stage.”
“We are delighted with both horses overall condition and really look forward to running both.
James McDonald has been engaged to ride both Kingdoms and Rich ‘N Famous.
Back Bigger & Stronger - Steps In Time
SYDNEY, Saturday 16 February, 2012 - Steps In Time commenced her autumn campaign in the same manner in which she did twelve months ago by winning the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200 m) at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
The John O'Shea-trained mare was sent out at $2.60 and led all the way in her customary bold front running style.
She held off favourite and 2012 third placegetter Red Tracer ($2.45) by a half neck.
ABOVE: Tough and strong was Steps In Time this afternoon as she displayed her winning qualities.
Her program once again includes the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500 m) in which she finished eighth last year.
"She will go to the Coolmore Classic third-up," O'Shea said.
"She comes from the same family as Vision And Power and the family seems to get better as they get older."
"This year she will go to the Liverpool City Cup on her way to the Coolmore." O'Shea informed.
The Liverpool City Cup (1300m) is on March 9 and the winner is exempt from ballot on the Doncaster Mile but that race is not on Steps In Time's agenda.
"She can't get 1600 metres," O'Shea said.
"That is just beyond her."
The mare's rider Grand Slam winning hoop Jim Cassidy agreed with O'Shea that she was much stronger than last time.
"She is getting stronger as she matures," Cassidy said.
"The track is pretty testing, it is a great training performance." he said.
"She's not as aggressive as she was last prep. I sort of ambled across today and rolled forward."
The win was an extra celebration for owner Neil Hoar who celebrated his birthday at the meeting.
The Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) is on March 23.
Ashokan Readied For Autumn Riches
SYDNEY, Thursday 14 February, 2013 - Randwick mentor John O’Shea is planning well ahead with his crack 3YO colt, Ashokan.
Last Spring O’Shea tested Ashokan at the highest level, contesting the Sires Produce and the Golden Rose in Sydney, before heading to Melbourne and tackling All Too Hard and Pierro in the Caulfield Guineas – all at Group 1 level.
This Saturday at Rosehill Gardens, the son of More Than Ready is first-up in the Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m), O’Shea is very happy with his colt.
“He’s in very good order is Ashokan, he’s had two really good trials and he goes into this race fit and ready to fire,” O’Shea explained.
“If you’re in Sydney at this time of year and you think you’ve got a good three-year-old then you want to finish up in the Randwick Guineas.” O’Shea, lamenting his hopeful intention of Ashokan’s preparation.
"We’ll give him every chance to get there and prove he’s good enough,”
“There is an option of freshening him up and going to Brisbane.”
"He could well be a Stradbroke horse,” O’Shea added.
O’Shea knows about winning the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) with a three-year-old, having done that already with former brilliant filly and mare Private Steer back in 2004.
On Saturday Ashokan will be ridden by James McDonald and has drawn barrier seven of nine runners, and will clash with unbeaten former Kiwi Sacred Falls, Darley’s Rusambo and unbeaten Rebel Dane.
The Randwick horseman with also be represented by two other strong chances come Saturday at the Gardens.
Steps In Time who off the strength of two sublime barrier trials appears to be back bigger and stronger.
ABOVE: Powerful mare Steps In Time resumes on Saturday at Rosehill Gardens.
The strapping 5 year old mare has opened short priced favourite elect in the early markets for the Breeders Stakes (1200 m).
“Its for all to see on what she has done in her trials the manner in which she is going,”
“However as we well know trials are different to race day and we have left plenty in the tank for later in the preparation, and in previous first up performances she hasn’t exactly been flattering.” O’Shea warned.
“We go into Saturday confident that she will run extremely well on her merits despite whatever the outcome is, third up in her form profile shows when she has put in career best runs and we are looking to replicate that this preparation.”
Number One Gun will round out O’Shea’s team for Saturday and he is on the seven day back up having just been nosed out in a finish last Saturday at Warwick Farm.
“He has had a good week and although he is probably suspect at the 1400 m we have elected for this race over the 1200 m due to the unfolding tempo of the 1400 m race, which will hopefully suit him more.”
Charge Account Excites Up In Grade
SYDNEY, Saturday 9 February, 2013 - The Australian Turf Club and its chairman John Cornish celebrated a birthday on Saturday but the popular administrator declared it was all about his wife Pam after their promising galloper Charge Account recorded his second straight win at Warwick Farm.
Pam Cornish has been battling ill health and her devoted husband, who couldn't hide his delight, was quick to deflect the admiration after his three-year-old defeated the older horses in the Happy 2nd Birthday ATC Handicap (1100m).
"It's a kick for Pam and that's what it's all about this win," Cornish said. "It's all about her."
The win gave successful jockey Hugh Bowman his third victory for the day after earlier wins aboard Dark Brown Sugar and Court Connection.
Charge Account raced up on the speed but Bowman allowed the horse plenty of room to move through the early and middle stages, a tactic which drew accolades from winning trainer John O'Shea, who said, "Hugh did the right thing and just kept him out of trouble. That's the way to ride a twos-on pop."
In the straight, Charge Account ($1.60 fav) kicked strongly before drawing clear to win by 1-1/2 lengths from Masterstroke ($31) with a half head back to Chiaramonte ($8) in third.
ABOVE: Three year old promising galloper Charge Account won impressively this afternoon.
"That's good, a big thrill," O'Shea said. "He's taken another big step today this horse."
"It's very rewarding to everyone associated to the stable because to win a race on John's birthday has been a special day for everyone and I'm hoping Pam and John get a bit of delight out of this horse."
O'Shea said Charge Account would have his next start in the Listed Fireball Quality (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 2.
"That's when we'll find out how good he is because he's going to be taking what I'm sure will be a very competitve race and also his stablemate Knight Exemplar, and he's going pretty good," O'Shea said.
Princess Layla to Bounce Back
SYDNEY, Friday 18 January, 2012 –Randwick conditioner John O’Shea will saddle two charges at tomorrow’s RosehillGardens race card.
Don’t Blink will contest Australian Turf Club Handicap over1100 m for three year olds which O’Shea hinted to a definite turnaround in performance after a midfield run beaten two lengths at Canterbury Park eight days ago.
“Going forward from the barrier the other night didn’t prove to be the right move and she was caught in hot tempo up front which ultimately brought her done to finish the race off.”
“She has drawn poorly tomorrow and we will adopt riding her in a more conservative manner which she has performed well doing in the past.”
O’Shea hinted track conditions will play a part and with the rail positioned at eight metres this could prove difficult for back markers.
The second O’Shea runner will be Princess Layla who had been the absolute model of consistency up until last start at CanterburyPark back on the 29th December.
“Princess Layla is in great order and she did pull up with a genuine excuse last start and that combined with stretching her out in trip didn’t prove to be the Princess Layla we have become accustomed too.” O’Shea explained.
“Her work was very strong on Tuesday morning and we have made a gear change in taking the blinkers off and going to the winkers.”
“We expect to put herself into the race at the right time and hopefully it will be a well deserved win for her and the Doyle Family.” O’Shea added.
Iggi Pop to Rock The Summer Cup
SYDNEY, Monday 24 December, 2012 - Up-and-coming stayer Iggi Pop is pre post favourite elect ahead of the Schweppes Summer Cup (2400 m) on Boxing Day at Rosehill Gardens.
It will be the four-year-old's second test at 2400 metres but he is bred to relish it being by staying sire Savabeel out of an O'Reilly mare.
A last-start second in the Christmas Cup over 2400m, O'Shea feels Iggi Pop has had the groudning run and to go one better over the staying trip trip.
"His runs have been really good all preparation but he's racing like a horse that needs a good bit of ground," O'Shea said.
"We set him for these two races and he's coming to a nice peak now so I'm pretty happy with where he's at."
Iggi Pop will be ridden by James McDonald and jump from barrier 1 on Wednesday.
Sea Siren To Come Home To Sydney
HONG KONG, Sunday 9 December, 2012 -John O'Shea was shattered after his star mareSea Siren disappointed in the Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin this evening.
It was impossible for the trainer to hide his disappointment after his three-time group 1-winning mare finished ninth to Japanese star Lord Kanaloa.
Sea Siren raced well below expectations.
"She had an ideal preparation, and I'm at a loss to explain the run,'' O'Shea said.
"I just want to watch the replay and speak to Jimmy [Cassidy]. She fits the right profile of a sprint winner and had a perfect preparation. I was thinking of going to England but now plans are a little hazy.”
“We will just get her home and possibly look at a race like the T.J. [Smith] on her home track.''
Cassidy said: "I was three deep with cover but after racing the Melbourne way of going at her past two runs - then back to this way [of going] is not an easy task."
Hong Kong International Sprint Beckons For Sea Siren
SYDNEY, Monday 12 November, 2012 - John O'Shea confirmed plans that a decision had been made with the ownership group that Sea Siren will travel to Hong Kong next month to contest the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200 m).
The daughter of Fastnet Rock has come through the run extremely well according to O’Shea.
There is also a small chance of a rematch between the pair who fought out the Manikato Stakes, where Sea Siren was the victor, and the Patinack where Mental turned the tables, as Hong Kong officials are chasing Mental as well for next month's International Sprint at Sha Tin.
''We are definitely going provided everything goes right in the next couple of weeks," O'Shea said of Sea Siren.
ABOVE: Mental & Sea Siren clear out from rivals in Saturday's Patinack Farm Classic.
"She couldn't have done much more on Saturday, she was beaten but not disgraced.” “Mental had the drop on her all the way and I think if he didn't have her back, it might have been a different result.”
“It would be good to have another go at him, if they decide to send him to Hong Kong."
“All in all no excuses and full credit to the winner.”
"It has been a great carnival for Sydney trainers,'' O'Shea said.
"It has not just been the winners, but if you look at the placegetters there were plenty of them coming out of Sydney as well. I think everyone expected Sydney to have a good carnival because our depth of horses is much better at the moment.”
Another Group 1 Question Asked Of Sea Siren
SYDNEY, Friday 9 November, 2012 - Flemington’s wide open spaces can always be daunting, and for Patinack Farm Classic favourite Sea Siren, the straight six (1200 m) will provide her with her biggest test on tomorrow.
Her Randwick conditioner John O'Shea directly pointed out that Sea Siren, who has won six of her nine starts (three at the elite level), has been successful at Canterbury, Warwick Farm, Doomben and MooneeValley.
ABOVE: Sprinting Star Sea Siren powers to victory in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes a fortnight ago.
"All her victories have been on tight, turning tracks, this is a different ball game,'' O’Shea said.
''She has to go out on the big stage and beat the best sprinters around, again, but this time there might be a few things in her opponents favour."
Sea Siren is a well deserved favourite at $3.70 for the $1 million sprint.
She won the Group 1 Manikato Stakes two weeks ago first-up from a spell.
O'Shea said the straight-six (1200-metre) course was the query for her against powerful sprinters such as Buffering and Mental.
"You are always worried the first time they go down it and there are a couple in the race who love it," he said.
"Mental got pretty close to us at the Valley and he is going to have the cold sit on us down the straight,'' O'Shea said.
"You would think he is going to be better at Flemington and, being a Darley horse, he will be trained to the minute.”
"Buffering is stabled across from me at Flemington and I just get the feeling that Rob [Heathcote] believes he has worked out what was wrong with him at the Valley. He was the benchmark at the beginning of the spring.”
''There are some good straight [six] horses in the race, like Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom, and the three-year-olds always get into this race well.” O’Shea added.
O'Shea has planned Sea Siren's preparation, providing tomorrow’s performance is up to expectation, to have the daughter of Fastnet Rock ready for next month's international races in Hong Kong, but will make a final decision after Saturday.
''If she handles the big track we are ready to go but you couldn't make a trip like that if she didn't run well in the Patinack,'' O'Shea said.
O’Shea will also saddle up Lightinthenite in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after his sixth over 1800 metres on Tuesday.
“Craig Williams will replace James (McDonald) after James failing to win his appeal against suspension.” O’Shea clarified.
"I wasn't that unhappy with his run on Tuesday because I think he is just looking for the longer trip now, so 2600 metres will be perfect.”
"We wanted to go here because if he can win or run into the placings, it gets him past the balloting conditions for the Melbourne Cup next year.''
Lighting Up Cup Day
MELBOURNE, Monday 5 November, 2012 – Last start exciting winner Lightinthenite lines up tomorrow at Flemington on the grand stage of Melbourne Cup Day.
Lightinthenite will contest the Diamond Jubilee Plate over 1800 m and jump from barrier five with in form jockey Craig Williams continuing his association with the lightly raced son of Galileo.
Williams was aboard Lightinthenite after pulling off a courageous ride to win the Coongey Handicap at Caulfield over a fortnight ago.
ABOVE: Lightinthenite (red jacket) is shot through runners by international Group 1 jockey Craig Williams.
Trainer John O’Shea smiled with glee when asked of Lightinthenite condition heading into tomorrow.
“We are just delighted with how he has trained on and he has really enjoyed continuity to his program and we look forward to running him tomorrow,”
“Obviously the weight is a significant impost but hopefully Craig (Williams) will negotiate a soft run in transit to produce him at the right time,” O’Shea explained.
Lightinthenite will carry an additional five and half kilos from his last start victory but O’Shea enthused he still expects to be in the finish.
“I think he has probably improved here at home but in saying that I think he will have to, too overcome the obstacle of carrying top weight.” O”Shea added.
Steps In Time will be the other O’Shea stable runner at Flemington and once again the Randwick horseman cannot fault the class mare.
“She is really bouncing around and her chances come down to what sort of run Jimmy can give her up front,”
“She will roll across from the wide gate as long as she rolls at an even tempo she can be more than competitive.” O’Shea said.
Sea Siren Continues Her Group 1 Stardom
MELBOURNE, Friday 26 October, 2012 - Randwick trainer John O’Shea registered another Group I victory under lights at Moonee Valley when Sea Siren made a winning return to the track in Manikato Stakes (1200m).
O’Shea won the Group I William Reid Stakes earlier this year with Foxwedge but remained humble with his filly’s victory on Cox Plate eve. "It’s good to do something right,” he said.
ABOVE: Outstanding mare Sea Siren puts pay to the Group 1 Manikato Stakes field.
"You feel a lot of pressure when you train a filly like this so right now it's more relief rather than joy."
"It’s a funny game, you’ve got to try and not get carried away with the feature wins or the losses," he said.
"At the end of the day I go home to four kids and a lovely wife." Sea Siren’s win was the daughter of Fastnet Rock’s third at the elite level this year and the trainer said the mare will push on to the Group I Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) on November 10."
"She’s got improvement in her and probably raced a bit fresh today. Her condition gave out late but it was entitled to. Have a look at where the horses she was racing around finished,” he said.
"She’s a great sprinter that box seats, which alleviates mistakes in her races.”
The four-year-old got the front around the bend and staved off a late challenge along the rails from Mental with We’re Gonna Rock finishing third.
"I rode her confidently knowing that she’d be running on empty over the last bit,” winning rider Jim Cassidy said.
"I didn’t think anything would be coming from behind me and winning. She took to the (Moonee) Valley on Tuesday like a duck to water. I just thought she would win.”
Wahlberg Makes Positive Winning Debut
SYDNEY, Thursday 25 October, 2012 – Breaking his maiden on debut was Wahlberg this afternoon at Hawkesbury creating an impression on his first day out at the races.
Randwick conditioner John O’Shea who prepares three year old colt, was reserved, but did tout a promising future pre race for Wahlberg and the three year old colt justified the pre race wrap, when camping back off the speed throughout the run.
Approaching the home turn he idled up to put himself into the contest and once balanced, rider Christian Reith pressed the button and Wahlberg accelerated away, running through the line gunning down lead horses to win comfortably by just over three quarters of a length.
“He has always shown us something as a young horse and he had a really good education coming into today’s event which provided the good grounding for him and as you saw he seemed to race tractability, which is a positive.” O’Shea said.
“We will just get him home and keep him to his own age group with another run before making a decision whether we go to the paddock or not, as we have always have the Autumn in mind for him.”
John O’Shea Racing congratulates Champion Thoroughbreds, Bloodstock Resources, Arcadian Racing, Mrs A Gibson, Mrs I O'Shea, Mr P Schmidt, Forever Dreaming, Mr G Seto, Mr D L Giueni, Mr L D'intino, Sedgewyn Syndicate.
Sounding A Manikato Siren
MELBOURNE, Wednesday 24 October, 2012 – John O’Shea’s multiple Group 1 winner of the BTC Cup and Doomben Ten Thousand worked at Moonee Valley's Breakfast with the Best yesterday morning and pleased both her ‘grand slam’ rider, Jim Cassidy and her Randwick conditioner.
The daughter of Champion Stallion Fastnet Rock wasn't asked to do a lot but O'Shea was impressed with how she adapted to the unique circuit and his view was backed up by Cassidy.
ABOVE: Sea Siren (left) is a genuine Group 1 sprinting contender through the Melbourne Spring.
"Jimmy was happy with her work and the way she felt in her action, so we're going into the race happy that we've done all the work," O'Shea explained.
"We're just hoping for a bit of luck in the run now."
The luck O'Shea is looking for was played out at the barrier draw when Sea Siren drew gate five.
Sea Siren is one of three Group 1 winners in the Manikato Stakes.
Importantly she also boasts winning form over race favourite Buffering in her Group 1 wins last season.
Buffering is favourite on the strengths of his two recent wins in Melbourne in the G2 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley and G2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield but O'Shea is confident his mare is forward enough for Friday night's 1200m test after two recent barrier trials in Sydney.
"You never know with three-year-olds going into their four year old season, but she looks like she's made nice improvement.”
“If she has improved a little bit, then she's going to be competitive wherever she steps out," O’Shea added.
A Manikaton Siren Sounding
MELBOURNE, Wednesday 24 October, 2012 – John O’Shea’s multiple Group 1 winner of the BTC Cup and Doomben Ten Thousand worked at MooneeValley's Breakfast with the Best yesterday morning and pleased both her ‘grand slam’ rider, Jim Cassidy and her Randwick conditioner.
The daughter of Champion Stallion Fastnet Rock wasn't asked to do a lot but O'Shea was impressed with how she adapted to the unique circuit and his view was backed up by Cassidy.
"Jimmy was happy with her work and the way she felt in her action, so we're going into the race happy that we've done all the work," O'Shea explained.
"We're just hoping for a bit of luck in the run now."
The luck O'Shea is looking for was played out at the barrier draw when Sea Siren drew gate five.
Sea Siren is one of three Group 1 winners in the Manikato Stakes.
Importantly she also boasts winning form over race favourite Buffering in her Group 1 wins last season.
Buffering is favourite on the strengths of his two recent wins in Melbourne in the Group 2 Moir Stakes at MooneeValley and Group 2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield but O'Shea is confident his mare is forward enough for Friday night's 1200m test after two recent barrier trials in Sydney.
"You never know with three-year-olds going into their four year old season, but she looks like she's made nice improvement.”
“If she has improved a little bit, then she's going to be competitive wherever she steps out," O’Shea added.
Lightinthenite Continues Winning Progression At Caulfield
MELBOURNE, Saturday 20 October, 2012 - John O'Shea was successful at Caulfield this afternoon when Lightinthenite won the $150,000, Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m).
O’Shea targeted the five-year-old Galileo gelding at the race for his spring campaign with lead-up races for second in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500 m) at Newcastle and fourth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600 m) at Royal Randwick.
Up in distance and with Craig Williams engaged as pilot, the plan was going to script until there was no room for Lightinthenite with 200m to run.
After boxseating, third fence throughout the run, on approaching the turn the tempo increased and for a few anxious moments, Williams followed the speed waiting patiently for his run.
Williams had to maintain his patience as from the 300m to the 200m the run had not presented, but eventually Lightinthrnite presented himself into a gap and then the international jockey found a chink of daylight and he eased Lightinthenite into it.
Finally with clear galloping room and Williams went to work to send Lightinthenite forward, charging through the line.
Lightinthenite surged through to take the lead short of the line and won by a half neck margin.
“If you look at his record he likes to win and he attacks the line,” said O’Shea.
“It wasn’t Craig’s (Williams) fault because he drew the (barrier) one and he was always a chance of getting into a little bit of bother and he definitely got into some bother."
“He has got a good turn of foot and he is down in the weights and he was able to overcome it."
“He was strong through the line. He was probably still a little keen in transit but they were probably walking."
“It’s a nice start for him at his first go at a bit of a trip. He has got a lot of ones (wins) next to his name but we’d love to be back here this time next year hopefully running in the major event.”
“It’s just a reflection on how good Champion (Thoroughbreds) is going. They’ve got some wonderful horses and they are the backbone of my stable.” “We’ll probably take him to an 1800m race on (Melbourne) Cup day and then we’d give consideration to backing him up in the Queen Elizabeth (Stakes) on the last day (of the VRC Carnival),” he said.
“I really had a nice horse going into it and even the strapper and the owners call him Tuesday because they are very confident they can be here next year on the first Tuesday in November (Melbourne Cup),” said Williams.
“The horse has got really good ability and he is still really raw and a little bit soft but I loved the way he had to tough it out today."
“He came off the bridle and I was a little bit worried because we just had to wait for a run but it actually worked out really good because he had to be tough, solid and hold his line and he did.”
“When he got to the front he actually switched off and I thought it might have been better to get there late,”
Lightinthenite is out of the Grand Lodge mare Tiffin and he is owned by Champion Thoroughbreds Syndicate managed by Jason Abrahams, K Harris, Sedgewyn Syndicate, BOS Syndicate, G Williams, L Gregory, A Gordon, Mrs C Pitman, Ms V Sheils and D Warren-Smith. This was his sixth win from 13 starts and with four placings he has earned stakes of $344,700.
Gauci Answers O'Shea's Randwick SOS
SYDNEY, Monday 15 October, 2012 - Victorian jockey Darren Gauci has answered an SOS from Sydney trainer John O'Shea and will travel to the Harbour City on Saturday for the feature meeting at Randwick.
O'Shea was put into a bind when champion Kiwi jockey James McDonald had to forgo the Randwick engagements after being suspended at Caulfieldlast Saturday, which commenced immediately.
Gauci will ride exciting three-year-old Shelford in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) and Bound To Blush in the Listed The Nivison (1200m) for the Randwick conditioner.
"Shelford has been held back purposely to kick off first up in the Brian Crowley as a logical step heading towards the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington."
"On Nominations it appears a really strong, competitve race so he will have to be going every bit as well as he is going here at home to be competitve."
"In saying that, he is in great order and we can't wait for Saturday."
"Bound To Blush has come back a stronger mare and this is a lovely opportunity for her to try and gain some black type." O'Shea said.
"Alberton Park needs a dry week to get a firm track, if she gets a firm track she will feature in the finish."
Tommy Berry has been booked to ride Alberton Park.
Big Ask, But O'Shea Prepares Two Pronged Epsom Attack
SYDNEY, Thursday 4 October, 2012 –Randwick horseman will saddle up two hopes in Super Saturday’s feature race the Group 1 The Star Epsom Handicap (1600 m).
O’Shea’s favoured runner in progressive galloper Lightinthenite who was a desperately unlucky second first up in the Cameron Handicap a fortnight ago.
ABOVE: Lightinthenite excels on his home track of Royal Randwick.
Lightinthenite was the flashing red light as he defied the track pattern of the day at Newcastle and his performance stamped him a horse follow into the Spring riches.
“Lightinthenite has had a faultless preparation and we couldn’t be happier with the manner in which he will be fitted up for Saturday’s assignment.” O’Shea explained.
“He was obviously very, very good good the other day in the Camreon but he will need to replicate that sort of performance in the Epsom, as the Weight For Age form line to me looks very strong, Shoot Out is a most deserved favourite.”
Lightinthenite will carry 52 kg and Jim Cassidy takes over in the pigskin from James McDonald who is unable to do the light impost of weight.
“Barrier 1 is probably not to this horses advantage as he likes to get back and have galloping room late and it will be very tricky drawn down the inside.”
Gangster’s Choice will be the outsider of the field but O’Shea cheekily highlighted “funny things have happened” in regard to the consistent galloper’s knockout chance of winning.
ABOVE: Bold chestnut galloper Gangster's Choice (outer) is looking to be the Group 1 knockout horse.
“Gangster has peaked to almost perfection for Saturday,”
“We rolled the dice to attempt to gain a start and we have, he won’t know himself with the 52 kg on his back and he never not knows how to run a bad race.”
“He loves it flint hard and the track is Rated a Good 3 now, he will give everyone a fright at the furlong believe me, as he is drawn perfectly for him and he has the services of a boy who is a real talent in the saddle, in Jason Collett that will give him a good run.”
Knight Exemplar is grand looking colt who in his three starts has yet to taste success but he has been in two extremely close finishes, both races with good form reference.
“Knight Exemplar is a talented colt that will continue to improve with racing and on the way he is going he can be really competitive on Saturday in the Roman Consul.” O’Shea said.
“He will run with the addition of the blinkers on Saturday that definitely seems to have sharpened him up, and he will get a lovely run behind the speed there on Saturday, we are really looking forward to running him.”
Steps In Time Back To Winning Best
SYDNEY, Saturday 22 September, 2012 - Steps In Time remained undefeated third up into a preparation this afternoon at Royal Randwick for an all-the-way victory in the Group Three Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400 m).
The John O'Shea-trained mare was unplaced at her first two starts this campaign and grand slam hoop Jimmy Cassidy jumped back on for the 1400m event and the aggressive tactics reaped reward.
ABOVE: Steps in Time powers to victory in the Bill Ritchie Handicap this afternoon at Royal Randwick.
Cassidy has been aboard the Danehill Dancer mare five times for four wins.
"I've said it all along, that I've been really happy with the way she's going but it just hasn't been reflected on raceday," O'Shea said.
"She's got a wonderful record third-up and did a good bit of work from the half-mile (800m mark) so it was tremendous for her to hold on."
O'Shea praised the effort of Cassidy, who got to the front and then increased the tempo from well before the turn which proved a winning move.
"He has been a wonderful asset to our stable. He rides them like we like them to be ridden, nice and aggressive, and it was a wonderful ride again today," O'Shea commented.
Steps In Time will now head to join O’Shea’s Melbourne team and the astute Randwick horseman is toying with the option of contesting the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600 m) at Caulfied.
Time To Step Up In Bill Ritchie
SYDNEY, Friday 21 September, 2012 – Steps In Time puts her unbeaten third up record on the line tomorrow when contesting the BILL RITCHIE HANDICAP (1400 m) at Royal Randwick.
Steps In Time was the for form mare in Autumn but in her two runs back she been a fraction disappointing when contesting the stronger grade.
“Steps In Time is really flying, we have never had her going better.” Trainer John O’Shea said.
“She was okay first up but she did slightly disappoint me second up the other day,”
“We cannot fault her here at home she has further improved in her work and appearance. The 1400 on her home track will be ideal and the nature of the race looks as though Jimmy will get the opportunity to dictate the tempo.”
O’Shea hinted that how happy he is with her around the stable it will not be out of the realms of possibility for a form reversal tomorrow for the high class mare.
The O’Shea stable will saddle a further two runners that are racing with consistency,
“Don’t Blink will contest the Heritage Stakes and she has drawn disgracefully and will be ridden in a conservative manner,”
“It is race where she can get to them late especially if they were to run along up front, her run was great against the older mares last start who have since been competitive in a strong mares race so if she can replicate that run that will have her competitive which we are confident she will be.”
“Gangster’s Choice backs up and is coming off just having to lump the impost of 60kg and also he had a very hard run the previous start which definitely told on him last week.”
“He has had a very easy week and appears very fresh and happy with himself, he will really appreciate the big Randwick mile (1600 m) that tomorrow presents.”
Barrier Two For Ashokan's Golden Rose Assault
SYDNEY, Tuesday 11 September, 2012 – Randwick horseman John O’Shea will saddle up quality colt Ashokan in Saturday’s Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400 m) at RosehillGardens.
Ashokan will be second up into his preparation on Saturday and it will be one that O’Shea has lofty targets to include.
“The plan has always to have Ashokan ready second up and the blinkers on in the Golden Rose and that will be the case come Saturday.” O’Shea explained.
“He is a much bigger and stronger colt physically than what he was in his two year old year and subsequently is carrying some condition he is fitted up in great order ahead of Saturday.”
Ashokan rounded off his Golden Rose preparation when he worked this morning on the Randwick course proper over 1200 m, clocked an overall time of 1.22.44 and he was strong to the line his final 400 m in 22.91 seconds.
LEFT; Ashokan winning Group 3
“We are happy enough with where he is at and it’s a Group 1, we are not going there too play tiddly winks,” O’Shea commented.
“I’m really happy with where he is at in his preparation.”
Ashokan will leave from barrier two and will also have blinkers applied for Saturday’s event and will be ridden by James McDonald.
“Barrier two gives us options and I don’t necessarily think he has to lead in Saturday’s race, but we will have a good look over the next twenty four hours and discuss with Dr Bateman our thoughts and plan of attack.”
Should Ashokan be competitive on Saturday there are plans for the Group winning son of More Than Ready to enter into Melbourne Spring Carnival and run in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, but O’Shea warned that Saturday’s performance will lead to a final decision.
Furthering the Champion Success into the Future
SYDNEY, Friday 31 August, 2012 - Champion Thoroughbreds is hopeful the new racing year can be just as productive as last season where it finished with a win-place strike rate of more than 50 per cent
Armed with a crop of eight recent yearling purchases, the boutique syndicator’s largest team to date, Champion Thoroughbreds looks well poised to carve an even larger niche into the Australian racing scene.
In 2011-12 the syndicator ran just 14 horses which accumulated 23 wins and 27 minor placings from 90 starts. That’s better than one winner every four starts (25.5 per cent) underpinning a place strike rate of 30 per cent.
Top Sydney trainer John O’Shea led the charge for Champion Thoroughbreds, preparing the likes of Number One Gun, Hoss Amor and Art Thou Ready – all of who grabbed four wins apiece last season.
He also looked after Lighinthenite who grabbed three wins last season.
“Champion Thoroughbreds have worked their way up to being my biggest owner in the stable,” O’Shea said.
“I want athletes in my stable, so that’s what we’re going to come home with from the sales to sell to the Champion owners, not individuals of average quality with a ‘prettier’ pedigree page.
“The athletes are the horses that are consistently winning for me. I’m not at all surprised that the Champion horses are amongst the top horses in the stable.”
Champion Thoroughbreds horses earned more than $1m in prizemoney and BOBS bonuses last season.
Quality Mare Resumes In Toy Show
SYDNEY, Friday 24 August, 2012 - Randwick conditioner John O'Shea is adamant quality mare Steps In Time will "need a lot of luck" in tomorrow Listed Toy Show Quality over 1300 m at Warwick Farm. Despite the mare's unblemished record at the track and a blistering recent trial win.
ABOVE; Powerful, Steps In Time powers to another victory.
Steps In Time has had two trials leading into this preparation. The Danehill Dancer mare’s first effort O'Shea conceded "was a bit sluggish" when the mare "was carrying a lot of excess weight and condition" but on her most recent outing Steps In Time produced the fastest time of the morning when scoring comfortably.
"She's come back since and has done really good off the back off two trials," O'Shea said.
Tomorrow Steps In Time will lump 59kg and will start from barrier 12 as she attempts to record her sixth win in 10 starts with James McDonald engaged to ride.
"The reality is she's going to need a lot of luck," he said. "She'll need things to go her way."
O'Shea says he will monitor the campaign of one of Australia's best gallopers when mapping out Steps In Time's program.
"After Saturday she'll run in the (Group III) Tramway Handicap (1400m) and then she'll either go to Melbourne for the (Group I) Sir Rupert Clarke (1400m) or stay here in run in the (Group III) Golden Pendant (1400m).”
Sorellina Remains Unbeaten In Galloping Exibition
SYDNEY, Wednesday 15 August, 2012 - The John O’Shea-trained Sorellina kept her undefeated record intact when the four-year-old led from the jump to the post in Wednesday’s Super Saver Handicap (1100m) at CanterburyPark this afternoon.
ABOVE: Powerful display by Sorellina winning with ease this afternoon.
The daughter of Elvstroem bounced out of the barriers with jockey Glyn Schofield allowing the mare to utilise her acceleration, finding the front heading into the first bend.
"There was a bit of speed underneath but she just beat them all. She took control of the race very quickly,” Schofield said.
The jockey niggled at Sorellina entering the straight and the pair booted clear but the move left a gap for Magita, who had trailed Sorellina in the box seat, to pop off the fence and launch its challenge.
Sorellina maintained her margin over Magita, posting her second career victory and provoking Schofield to say the mare "won with a bit of authority”.
"She’s got a bit of quality and that was on show today,” Bryce Heys O’Shea’s foreman commented.
"She’s got a city win next to her name and I’m sure placed to her advantage she can win more.”
Charging For Debut
SYDNEY, Tuesday 14 August, 2012 – John O’Shea has had a promising start to the 2012/13 racing season which the Randwick horseman hopes to continue tomorrow at CanterburyPark.
O’Shea will saddle three runners two of which have trialled impressively in the lead up to their first up runs.
“Cantonese is racing without any luck whatsoever,” O’Shea explained.
“He had a tremendously tough run in transit last start and although I am very happy with his overall condition but the outside gate for him will make it very hard.”
“I will discuss with Claire Bird, Gerry Harvey’s Racing manager, as to what we do with him.”
Gangster Goes Bang
SYDNEY, Saturday 11 August, 2012 - The John O’Shea-trained Gangster’s Choice showed what can be achieved with patience and time when he returned to Warwick Farm this afternoon with an explosive win in the The Bledisloe Cup (BM85) over 1400 m.
The lightly raced five year old returned after a decent spell for start number 12 and showed that he is a big horse with some real promise.
The big striding galloper, with Glyn Schofield in the saddle, settled just beyond midfield one off the rail before peeling wide at the point of the turn and being given plenty of room to gallop.
Schofield asked the bold chestnut and he pounced to take the race for his keeping and be dominant on the line.
ABOVE: Gangster's Choice (outer) pounces on rivals to score impressively this afternoon.
“He probably wasn’t the most desired horse, physically, when he entered the yard a couple of years ago,” stable foreman Bryce Heys said.
“It is a credit to John and the team at home because he has been given the necessary time, as he is a horse that needed to mature to fill into himself, as he is a big horse.
“He has always been able to gallop and show us something, we have held him together and we have come here today and everything looked good on paper pre race in terms of the way the race would unfold for him; that was the case and that is the sign of a nice horse going forward.
“We will keep him in his grades but on a dry track I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up in a decent race down in the weights one day.
“Patience is well rewarded in this game and that is the case with this horse.”
“He is a lovely horse to ride,” Schofield said.
“He is strong, he is big, he is bold.”
“He came out of the barriers with a lot of intent; Bryce gave me a lot of confidence before the race that he would run a cheeky race.”
“They brought him back in great order, he came back to me before the line and I thought his condition may have given out but it was a good win nonetheless.”
John O’Shea Racing congratulates M J Gold, A R Higgins, K G Jamieson, Mrs M K Jamieson, D G Lightfoot, Mrs M J Lightfoot, A Parish & Mrs T Parish.
Gangster’s Choice record now stands at 12 starts for five wins and three minors.
Hendricus Back In Dominant Fashion
SYDNEY, Wednesday 8 August, 2012 – A culmination of a drop back in grade, blinkers applied and a fitness edge proved the successful recipe when the John O’Shea trained Hendricus was dominant this afternoon at the Australian Turf Club mid week meeting at Newcastle.
Hendricus was wearing the blinkers for the first time sprung into stride from the jump and with no willing leaders in the race, jockey Hugh Bowman was forced to take up the running and control the race through the early stages.
Pressure was applied at the 800 m where Bowman popped off the rail and kept Hendricus into his galloping rhythm.
On straightening Bowman had a lap full of horse and Hendricus simply proved too strong to the post winning comfortably by one and a half lengths.
“He had a class edge today as he has been racing in good company and he definitely was the fit horse,” Bowman said.
“It wasn’t our plan to lead but that’s the way things turned out.” Bowman highlighted.
“The blinkers went on today he was very strong at the line and always had the race in his keeping.”
Trainer John O’Shea commented that Hendricus had been luckless so far this preparation.
“There has been no question of how he has been going this horse and he’s put his best foot forward today and hopefully will also be confidence building for him.”
O’Shea plans to give the Mossman gelding one more run back in Saturday before being spelled.
Vantage Point Delivers Courtesy Of A Rawiller Special
SYDNEY, Saturday 4 August, 2012 - Front running rides were the order of the day at Canterbury on Saturday and Nash Rawiller is an exceptional exponent of the art as evidenced when partnering Vantage Point in the Canterbury BMW X6 Turbo M Benchmark 80 Handicap.
Rawiller sent Vantage Point out from barrier four to park outside Onecatstoomany who had come from barrier seven.
These two took the field along to the main straight and then Rawiller asked Vantage Point to lead, and spend 200m to fight off Onecatstoomany who did not fade, along with the rest of the challenges.
It was a tough ask, but to the credit of the five-year-old Anabaa mare she held a long neck advantage at the line over Onecatstoomany with a long head to Urgent Bell.
The time was 1.04.80 on the Dead 4 track with the final 600m in 35.88. Punters would have held their breath over the final 100m as Rawiller brought home their $4.40 favourite.
“Statistics don’t lie, and Nash has brings something to the table for any trainer but he is in the winning stall on our mounts regularly.” said Bryce Heys, foreman for O'Shea.
Rawiller piloted his 12th winner from 26 starts in the last year for Randwick trainer John O’Shea.
The win was Vantage Point’s fourth from 10 starts and stable foreman Bryce Heys has no doubt the mare was aided by a "Rawiller special”.
“It was a wonderful heady ride by Nash. He never let Sam cross him and she got favours and conditions to suit,” said Bryce Heys, foreman for O'Shea.
“Having Nash Rawiller counts for a lot and the strike rate for the stable continues to go very well. We will just keep her in her grades.”
“She has come to Saturday grade now and we will just keep her there and place her accordingly. She will obviously be up in the weights that being the case we can only make every endeavour to keep that man on top,” he said.
“I rode her at Gosford the other day and I tried to ride her back and it did not work and she did not appreciate racing among horses," said Rawiller.
"Today she was very competitive and she did a great job,” said Rawiller.
“I do not know how she lasted but she showed plenty of ticker late,” he said.
Vantage Point is out of the End Sweep mare Primal Motion and this was her fourth win from 10 starts.
With two third placings she has earned stakes of $131,920 for owners Gazal Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd managed by W and Z Gazel and Mrs SL Pilkington.
Continuing The Winning Champion Run
SYDNEY, Tuesday 31 July, 2012 – Champion Thoroughbreds continued their winning run when Art Thou Ready proved to good this afternoon at the Australian Turf Club meeting at Kembla Grange.
Art Thou Ready was given a charmed run from jockey Kerrin McEvoy and appreciated the drier surface on offer.
“He was back on top of the ground today (Dead 4),” Trainer John O’Shea commented.
“It really worked out well and Kerrin lobbed in a beautiful spot to be able to chime in at the right time.”
Art Thou Ready was positioned one out and one back off the speed in the run and on the approach to the turn McEvoy let the More Than Ready gelding creep into the race.
On straightening Art Thou Ready peeled across heels to the outer and once balanced, McEvoy went full boar and the three year old charged home to the result comfortably on the line.
Adding merit to the performance was carrying the fifty eight ½ kilos and sizzling home his final 600 m in 33.04 seconds.
“He has done a lovely job this preparation as we have let him work through his grades,”
“He will have a short break now and we will have him back to race over the Summer months on track surfaces which we know he will further appreciate.” O’Shea added.
Hendricus Looking For Positive Bounce Back
SYDNEY, Friday 27, 2012 -Randwick trainer John O'Shea is hoping the forecast continues over the next twenty four hours with fine weather to allow Warwick Farm's track rating to improve from the present Slow 7 as at this morning, to a Slow 6, and possibly into the Dead range by race time, 12.30pm, on tomorrow afternoon at Warwick Farm.
O'Shea cannot wait until later in the eight race ATC programme for the sun to dry out the track because he has the enigma Hendricus in the first of the day, Share Care Directors Benchmark 80 Handicap (1600m).
LEFT: Hendricus too strong in the Inglis 3YO Mile.
He says that the Mossman rising three-year-old gelding needs good ground.
His three wins have been on either Dead 4 or Dead 5 tracks, with his last three runs on Slow 6 and 7 tracks with a fourth at Rosehill in a Benchmark 76 Handicap over 1200m on June 9th the best result.
“He will go around on Saturday as long as it is dry,” says O'Shea.
Hendricus has won the three races from 11 starts, but because of O'Shea's placement of him in Inglis Bonus races, he has won $273,450 for connections which would normally be the tally of a winning metropolitan runner.
At his last start Hendricus raced in Benchmark 75 company over 1600m at Warwick Farm and after running second through to the final turn he faded under pressure to sixth.
“On form we were thinking it would be a slowly run race and we had an opportunity to roll forward, but everyone else apparently thought the same way and he ended up having to work hard to get there,” said O'Shea.
“This week he's drawn a nice gate so he can just find his feet. That is how he has been racing when he has been successful.”
“He won the Inglis Mile at Warwick Farm and a few good horses finished behind him. Colorado Claire finished fourth,” O’Shea highlighted.
A win for O'Shea would lift him into sole fourth place in the Sydney trainers' premiership.
O'Shea also has the promising Redoute’s Choice filly Don’t Blink resuming in The Optus Sprint (1100m), also with Avdulla engaged in the saddle.
Flying Bay 4 From 5
SYDNEY, Tuesday 24 July, 2012 - John O’Shea trained a winning double when Flying Bay romped home in the THE DAM HOTEL HANDICAP (1600 m) at the Asutralian Turf Club meeting at Wyong this afternoon.
O’Shea earlier prepared Number One Gun to score, and FlyingBay added to the winning day for the Randwick horseman.
FlyingBay from the inside gate began with intent to take up the running and lead with consummate ease.
Rated an absolute treat in front by GlynSchofield,FlyingBay was full of running on approaching the home turn and she excelled in Heavy conditions to career away and bolt in by three lengths.
FlyingBay made it four wins from five starts since joining the O’Shea yard.
John O’Shea Racing congratulates winning owners Mr E & Mrs D Boas and Mr B & Mrs A Bird.
Carrying the impost of sixty and half kilos with apprentice Chad Schofield 2kg claim Number One Gun always had control and completed his fourth win in his nine start career.
Schofield was aggressive early and let the Mossman gelding roll forward and bowl along out in front.
Maintaining a length and half margin throughout the run Schofield angled Number One Gun away from the rail and out to the centre of the track on straightening and released the brakes in the process, which put the event beyond doubt when the strapping gelding exercised a superior turn of foot.
“He really appreciated the Heavy conditions today and he always felt despite carrying the big weight that he would kick strongly which he did,”
“He was far too good for the rest.” Schofield said.
Trainer John O’Shea was delighted and once again the astute conditioner had the plan come to fruition as after Number On Gun won last week O’Shea indicated that the horse would be backing up today and all going well would prove the one to beat again.
“We have been desperate to back him and we were at a stage in his preparation where the programming allowed it,”
“He’s a progressive little horse as his record suggests and he’s doing a great job, we’ll just get him home and may give him one more run before giving him a well earned break.” O’Shea commented.
John O’Shea Racing congratulates winning connections Champion T/Breds (Mgr: J Abrahams), Number One Club (Mgr: C Davis), D Maratta, T Kennedy, A Macrae, M Josman, S Macleod, P Cannan, C Kirkpatrick & G Venn.
Champion Thoroughbreds Continue The Quality
SYDNEY, Friday 20 July, 2012 – Champion Thoroughbreds continue to produce quality runners and the Sydney based syndication company have another progressive type, Art Thou Ready making the transition to Saturday grade tomorrow at Rosehill Gardens.
In the care of Randwick horseman John O’Shea, Art Thou Ready will contest THE FORUM GROUP HANDICAP (1400 m) and is coming off an honest last start second in the Grafton Guineas (1600 m) ten days ago.
“He is coming to the end of his three year old year season and this is an appropriate 1400 m race tomorrow.” Champion Thoroughbreds Director Jason Abrahams commented.
“Art Thou Ready has been most effective in winning at 1400 m and tomorrow’s race is an opportunity for him to be competitive in the Saturday arena.”
The More Than Ready gelding has had twelve starts for three victories and four minor placings and has proved to be a galloper of consistency and on the improve.
“He is definitely horse that has developed improvement each preparation and we envisage that he will do that again into next preparation.” Abrahams said.
“John is very happy with the way in which the horse has travelled back from Grafton and although the barrier (1) will prove a little difficult for us as Art Thou Ready is a horse that appreciates galloping room,”
“With luck in the run we are confident of being very competitive, and hitting theb line hard late.”
“Champion Thoroughbreds is only in its infancy but are developing and improving our stock every year as indicated by our results on the race track.”
Champion Thoroughbreds had a winner on Wednesday with talented sprinter Number One Gun saluting stylishly at the Australian Turf Club Metropolitan midweek meeting at Gosford.
Champion Thoroughbreds original flag bearer was Group 1 Rosehill Guineas winner Zabrasive and now complementing the Champion Thoroughbreds stable are promising gallopers Hoss Amor, Lightinthenite and Carmine King.
“We don’t do big numbers but as I say our results are there to be seen and we are really happy with where we are at and our whole team from John and his staff and the Champion Team we are all focused on providing a superior product that can be enjoyed by any racing enthusiast,”
“Our feedback is very positive off our current clients and we will continue to grow with race track results and providing that superior service.” Abrahams added.
SYDNEY, Wednesday 18 July, 2012 – Number One Gun pulled out all stops in a powerful galloping display this afternoon at the Australian Turf Club Meeting at Gosford.
Not even the impost of the allotted 60.5 kg got in the way of the Champion Thoroughbreds managed three year old gelding.
Jumping from the outside gate (12) and in the hands of super hoop Nash Rawiller opted to take his customary racing position and roll forward, however there was extreme pressure from the inside runners that kicked up underneath Number One Gun.
Rawiller ever so poised, never panicked and kept his mount balanced and in stride to hold a wide spot and once approaching the first turn rolled across to find the front.
On straightening Rawiller pushed the button and the Mossman gelding had plenty left to give to really quickening up too score a dominant two length victory.
“He’s always been a nice horse with good ability and he proved that today after sitting on top of a hot speed.” Rawiller commented.
“It’s full credit the horse because he was entitled to get beat under the circumstances and he was simply too good.”
Trainer John O’Shea said he was desperate to back Number One Gun up within seven days and mentioned his plan post this afternoon was to either run next Tuesday or Wednesday providing the horse pulls up in good order.
Staying Prowess a Plenty in Jaipur Princess
SYDNEY, Wednesday 18 July, 2012 - The Australian Turf Club midweek meeting will be staged at Gosford this afternoon and the John O’Shea stable will saddle three mounts all with claims in their respective races.
In the opening event the LIKE US ON FACEBOOK HANDICAP (2100 m) last start winner Jaipur Princess broke her Maiden status with a dominant staying display over the 2100 m and the Randwick trainer says of the three year old filly’s positive progression since.
“Jaipur Princess was very good last start and she is a genuine staying conveyance who is now to a stage in life where she has matured and on the race track she is getting up around her right distance.”
“The awkward point for her today is her racing pattern and she has drawn the outside meaning she will get back from the gate and that probably doesn’t suit around a track like Gosford.” O’Shea said.
“She certainly hasn’t gone backwards since last start and if she puts herself in the race at the right time then she will be very strong late at the line.”
The Mossman three year old gelding is coming off a courageous effort last start at the Gosford track when beginning from the extreme outside barrier.
ABOVE: Number One Gun looks well palced to revisit the winners circle this afternoon.
“We are of the belief that he is more effective at the 1100 m but in terms of programming this is the most suitable race for him at this point.” O’Shea explains.
“He has the outside again today but it looks a race that will suit more than last start and to off set the big weight he has to carry we have engaged Australia’s leading man in the saddle Nash Rawiller which will count for a lot.”
Rawiller combined with O’Shea on Number One Gun three starts ago to score impressively.
The third O’Shea runner is Vantage Point in XXXX GOLD HANDICAP (1200 m) who was never a chance under the conditions first up last start according to O’Shea.
“She really had it all stacked against her last start drawn out in a race with a heap of speed and she was in dire need of the run.”
“Today she gets into race where she is more suited in terms of the overall form and she strips with improved fitness levels and a positive jockey change to a senior rider and a good barrier,”
“As in Number One Gun’s case we have tried to offset the impost of the big weight with Nash Rawiller aboard, the key will be the track as it currently rated a Slow 6,”
“Vantage Point doesn’t like too much cut out of it, that aside we are very happy with her overall condition.”
Back To The Scene Of The Crime
SYDNEY, Friday 13 July, 2012 – Hendricus for Randwick horseman John O’Shea is placed to advantage by the astute conditioner tomorrow at Warwick Farm in the first event on the Winter Stakes card, the PLUCK @ VINERY HANDICAP (1600 METRES).
Hendricus is third up into his preparation heading into tomorrow and O’Shea says although genuine excuses at the races at his previous two starts there will be none tomorrow.
“Hendricus has been the unlucky story in both starts back this campaign and tomorrow we hope its not the case again.”
RIGHT: Hendricus in the hands of Nash Rawiller.
“Although drawn a little awkward we are one start at the track and distance for a dominant win and we’d like to think the stars are aligning tomorrow, so to speak.”
O’Shea is referring to a pre Christmas Inglis Bonus race where Hendricus was all the rage in the betting ring and also on that occasion the country’s premier rider Nash Rawiller was in the saddle.
Rawiller reunites with Hendricus tomorrow for the first time since that start and O’Shea explains that in itself takes a few unknowns out of the equation.
“When engaging Nash it gives us every confidence as he has a real knack with finding the best of any horse and he get’s back on Hendricus tomorrow at the right time of his preparation,”
“What is in our control is that the horse is right at the top of his game being third up, he is very healthy and fit to run a strong mile.”
“We will leave the rest to Nash, that’s why we engage him.” O’Shea quipped.
O’Shea has two engagements with Glintz in the Winter Stakes who is testing punters patients including his trainer.
“Glintz, Glintz, Glintz, if he replicates the week he has had at home this week he will run right up to what he did two starts ago when he fought out the finish.”
“He looks great and he is jumping out of his skin, he will be ridden quiet and come charging home late will be the plan.”
“Think Mink our other runner is looking for the mile and she gets all conditions to suit tomorrow as she finds a nice race with a track she will appreciate with the fire out of it and a positive Brown ride in transit she can definitely figure,”
“Her overall condition is excellent.” O’Shea said.
Flying Bay Is Winning Her Way
SYDNEY, Wednesday 4 July, 2012 – Flying Bay continued her winning form this afternoon at the midweek ATC Metropolitan meeting at Gosford, when recording her third win from four starts since joining Randwick horseman John O’Shea.
The three year old Snitzel filly was stepping up in grade today after her last start dominant win at Newcastle.
Adopting similar tactics, from a wide alley jockey Jeff Penza worked hard early to work forward and take up the running and find the lead over the early stages.
Once finding her rhythm FlyingBay was always full of running and she let go with a finishing sprint to hold off A Little Prayer who kept fighting into second position.
“She has really thrived in the last month this filly which is indicative of her race record since joining us,”
“She will progress to better races next time around and it options option’s up for her being able to run out the mile (1600 m).” O’Shea explained.
O’Shea said Flying Bay would possibly stay in work for one final start this preparation capitalise her ability to win further BOBS Bonus which is valid until the end of the racing season (July).
John O’Shea Racing congratulates winning owners Mr E & Mrs D Boas and Mr B Bird & Mrs A Bird.
Flying Bay To Continue Winning Way
SYDNEY, Wednesday 4 July, 2012 – Australian Turf Club Metropolitan midweek racing is at Gosford this afternoon where John O’Shea will saddle three chances.
“Number One Gun was always going to be a little suspect at the 1200 m last start and the point of running him today is that it is the most appropriate 1100 m race for him.”
“He strips fit and right at the top of his game, we will continue to adopt the same aggressive approach in terms of the way he is ridden.” O’Shea said.
Vantage Point has been victorious on three occasions in her seven start career.
“The Slow track is not really ideal for Vantage Point as she needs a firmer surface,”
“However she has to get started somewhere and she will be definitely improved from today’s outing,”
“Look out for her when she gets on top of the ground.” O’Shea added.
Civic Stakes Day @ The Gardens, Strong Hand for O'Shea
SYDNEY, Friday 29 June, 2012 – John O’Shea has a number of runners for tomorrow’s Civic Stakes meeting at RosehillGardens and all appear to be well placed.
O’Shea will saddle two runners in the days feature the Listed Civic Stakes (1400 m) in the form of AlbertonPark and Think Mink.
“At this stage we are up in the air as to whether we will run AlbertonPark and that will depend on the track condition and we will await until the last minute tomorrow morning before deciding.”
LEFT: Alberton Park is early
favourite for the Listed
Civic Stakes (1400 m).
“She struggled on the Heavy Gosford track the other day and we are pleased to get that run out of the way as she is really in tip top order and she is very well in herself.” ”Think Mink is our knockout for the day, as she has improved significantly from her first up run.”
“She loves the cut in the ground and she has drawn to get a lovely run behind the speed and with any luck in the run she will get her chance to attack the line late which we expect of her, she is in excellent order.”
O’Shea has the young and consistent Hendricus who was desperately unlucky first up three weeks ago and O’Shea explains he does have obstacles tomorrow.
“Hendricus is right at the top of his game but he has drawn a bugger of a barrier,”
“We will ride him conservatively anyway but he will need luck, should he get that he will only need to replicate his first up run to be in the finish of tomorrow’s race.”
Knight Exemplar is a two year old colt that ran second on debut at CanterburyPark behind Ninth Legion who went onto to record a Saturday grade win and run more than admirably in the Group 1 Sire’s Produce Stakes in Brisbane.
“Knight Exemplar really trialled exceptionally well here at Randwick the other day and he looks to find a nice race tomorrow.”
“He has made the natural improvement necessary but he maybe a query at the six (1200 m), however he is drawn well and we are really looking forward to running him.”
Glintz has been an enigmatic galloper who O’Shea adopted a different approach last week and extracted something from the Pins gelding.
“There is no question on the way Glintz has been going at home and we took the liberty of riding him cold last Saturday which he appreciated and really he was a certainty beat.”
“He will run well off the back up tomorrow and he should not have to be as far back tomorrow, he strips fitter for the run obviously and we are giving the opportunity of running out the 1900 m.” O’Shea added.
Hoss Amor Black Type x 3
BRISBANE, Saturday 23 June, 2012 - The John O’Shea-trained Hoss Amor ended a prosperous Queensland winter carnival when scoring a comfortable win in the Listed Centenary Classic Mercedes-Benz Classic (1400m) at Eagle Farm this afternoon.
The win was Hoss Amor’s third Listed win of the carnival, adding considerable wealth to the two year old General Nediym filly’s worth.
ABOVE: Hoss Amor wins again this afternoon to culminate a very succesful QLD Winter preparation.
Hoss Amor wasn’t the best to begin from her outside draw but the she was allowed to stride forward by jockey Chris Munce and after 400 metres she had crossed with ease to settle outside the lead.
On straightening, Hoss Amor was full of running and she was slipped the leather to exercise a superior turn of foot to her rivals and put the result far beyond doubt.
"She was pretty courageous today this filly,” Munce commented."
“She dashed pretty quick at the top of the corner and really sustained it.”
The victory was Hoss Amor’s fourth win from six starts and took her earnings to more than $360,000. John O’Shea Racing congratulates Champion Thoroughbred owners on an outstanding preparation; Champion Hoss Bridges, Number One Club, Red Eye, Mr B R Read, Mr K E Harris, Mr K R Bruce, Mr R H Bruce, Mr I M Mackay, Brown Dog, Mr P J Liston.
Alberton Park Gives O'Shea Interstate Stakes Double
SYDNEY, Saturday 9 June, 2012 - Earlier in the day John O’Shea trained Hoss Amor to stakes success in Brisbane and AlbertonPark landed a second stakes success in Sydney when she took out Listed June Stakes (1100m) at RosehillGardens this afternoon.
Jockey Tommy Berry parked AlbertonPark sixth on the rail in the early stages behind a hot tempo.
Coming to the corner the pair crept up behind the leading pack but looked in trouble when Berry found himself with nowhere to go.
Sibling rivalry was at its best when Nathan’s persistance forced Tommy to switch around Stratana’s heels.
In the meantime, the Peter Snowden-trained Skytrain had descended on the field and looked set to charge to victory.
Stratana kicked as Skytrain died on his run but both gallopers were upstaged by the finishing burst of AlbertonPark and the mare recorded her first stakes victory.
"It’s a perfect result. I was holding my breath for the last furlong because I wasn’t sure when she was going to get out,” O’Shea’s stable foreman Bryce Heys said.
"He (Berry) didn’t panic. I’ll take my hat off to him there.”
"She’s deserved of a race like this. I know it was our mare (Steps In Time) that won the (Group II) Breeders Stakes but this mare was desperately unlucky and that race was a superior form reference for the mares’ races throughout the autumn.”
Berry said he was under strict instructions to hold AlbertonPark up until reaching the home straight. The jockey said he was impressed by the turn of foot showed by the mare.
Hoss Amor Powers To Stakes Success
BRISBANE, Saturday 9 June, 2012 -Randwick horseman John O’Shea prepared Hoss Amor to record a Listed Stakes success win in her own right after proving far too good for her rivals in the $100,000 Lancaster Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm this afternoon.
ABOVE: Hoss Amor in the hands of Jim Cassidy, streaks rivals in the Lancaster Stakes at Eagle Farm.
Earlier this week, Hoss Amor was handed victory of the Listed Hampden Stakes after the first horse across the line, Noogoora Burr, was disqualified for an elevated TC02 reading produced in a swab taken from that galloper on race day.
The two-year-old filly Champion Thoroughbreds filly showed she was deserving of the black type success, opening Stradbroke Handicap day with a dominant performance, storming home over the top of the opposition to win running away.
Cassidy "Pumped" Ahead of Group 1 Feature
BRISBANE, Friday 8 June, 2012 - John O'Shea's crack fillySea Siren will have to continue to defy historical fact heading into Queensland’s racing’s premier event, the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm tomorrow afternoon.
No three year old filly has carried 55 kilograms to win Queensland racing's premier event.
ABOVE: Sea Siren defeats race rival Buffering.
The impost has had no bearing on punters thoughts of Sea Siren holding dominant favouristism.
O'Shea prepared three-year-old filly Private Steer who carried 48kg to win the Stradbroke in 2003, Sea Siren goes into the race having won the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000. Both were group 1, weight-for-age events and Sea Siren, which was the $4.20 overnight favourite on TAB Sportsbet.
Hall Of Fame jockey Jim Cassidy continues his association in the saddle, Cassidy having no doubt as to the task at hand.
''She can do the job, she has serious class this filly,'' Cassidy said when asked about the 55kg, which includes a 1.5kg penalty for winning the 10,000.
''No three-year-old had won the 10,000 either. What she is doing at the moment, everything is upside for her.”
“John has set her for the Stradbroke and he has her trained to the minute,”
“She has done a wonderful job. The rehandicap always makes it a bit harder.''
Number One Gun Dominating In Second Up Performance
SYDNEY, Wednesday 6 June, 2012 – Champion Thoroughbreds unleashed another promising youngster this afternoon at Canterbury Park when Number One Gun scored effortlessly in the Parramatta Eels Handicap over 1100 m.
Trained by Randwick horseman John O’Shea the son of Mossman started heavily supported favourite elect and delivered on that when controlling the race throughout.
ABOVE: Lightly raced winning galloper Number One Gun.
Super hoop Nash Rawiller was in the saddle and after beginning brilliantly Rawiller took up the lead and in doing so control of the race.
Reveling in the Heavy conditions once nursed on straightening the 3YO son of Mossman let down putting pay to his rivals and scoring comfortably by four lengths.
Jockey Rawiller sentiments were that of a promising galloper.
“For a big horse he really handled the track conditions well and that is going to bear well for him being in work at this time of year,”
“We were always in control and when I gave him his head it was all over.”
“He did it all on natural ability.” Rawiller added.
Number One Gun races in the colours of the TAB Number One Club, which provides TAB Number One Club members the opportunity of owning a share in a racehorse for a day and in the process keeping the winnings from what the horse gains from the day’s performance.
Sea Siren - Penalty puts Stradbroke start under a cloud
QUEENSLAND, Monday, May 28, 2012 - Randwick trainer John O’Shea says Saturday’s Doomben 10,000 winner Sea Siren is no guarantee to line up in the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap next month.
The trainer said the decision was not his to make. The filly’s owner Keith Biggs will have the final say.
"It’s up to him. It’s out of my hands,” O’Shea said.
Sea Siren was allotted 52.5kg when weights were released for the Stradbroke but was issued with a 1.5kg penalty on Monday for her Doomben 10000 win. The daughter of Fastnet Rock will now carry 54kg if she is to line up in next month’s $1 million feature event.
"It’s the only weight-for-age race in Australia where you can cop a penalty. I’m not sure how they can give her one,” O’Shea said.
In her last two starts Sea Siren has rewritten the Australian racing record books becoming the first three-year-old filly to win the BTC Cup and Doomben 10000. If given her chance in Queensland’s premier race, Sea Siren could become the first galloper in history to win the BTC Cup - Doomben 10,000 – Stradbroke Handicap treble.
"What we’re mindful of is the weight difference between her and other gallopers,” he said.
"If she had to give too much weight away to good horses then we’d rather save her for the spring.”
RANDWICK, Sunday, May 27, 2012 - Plans to run top class three year-old colt Foxwedge at Royal Ascot next month in the Group I King's Stand Stakes have been abandoned with Newgate Farm confirming the valuable colt is to be retired immediately.
Foxwedge trialled at Rosehill on Friday morning in a pleasing fashion, but his trainer John O'Shea indicated the colt would be monitored closely following that hit out, which was his first serious gallop since racing below expectations in the Group I ATC TJ Smith Stakes.
"John [O’Shea] was satisfied with the trial, but is not confident that the horse is 100 percent coming out of it so we have taken the decision to retire him immediately,” Henry Field of Newgate Farm said.
"Foxwedge has been up for a long time having had a busy spring carnival before a short spell and has been in continuous work since mid-December competing against the best sprinters in the country.
"He was treated for several weeks for a respiratory condition (that resulted in the mucus in the throat which caused his blow par run in the TJ) and as a result has been playing catch up ever since.
"We feel it is in the best interests of the horse to retire him now, so that he can commence his first season at stud feeling good and at the top of his game.”
Already a Group I winner of the MVRC William Reid Stakes (defeating Hay List and Buffering), Foxwedge had little to prove at Royal Ascot and retires as the highest rating son of Fastnet Rock to go to stud.
Foxwedge will stand at Newgate Farm this spring at a fee of $33,000.
Sea Siren rewrites the record books in Doomben 10000
DOOMBEN, Saturday May 26, 2012 - The John O’Shea-trained Sea Siren has produced a stirring finish to become the first three-year-old filly to win the $650,000 Group I Doomben 10000 (1350m) on Saturday.
Sea Siren's win ended a 79 year drought for three-year-old fillies in Queensland’s premier weight-for-age race. It also provided O’Shea with some redemption after his former star filly Private Steer finished second in the race behind Bel Esprit in 2003.
"It’s a wonderful achievement for a wonderful filly,” O’Shea told Sky Racing World. "Private Steer was probably the greatest certainty beat you’ve ever seen in a 10000."
In the 2012 renewal, Sea Siren was the first to leave the barriers, crossing to the rails and taking a sit behind the speedy Adebisi while Buffering followed the leader across to travel outside the pacesetter.
At the top of the straight, jockey Jim Cassidy started to stoke up Sea Siren while Buffering charged to the front but the filly began closing once clear and proved too strong over the final 100 metres.
Sea Siren ($4.20 fav) defeated Buffering ($4.80) by a short neck with Temple Of Boom ($21), two lengths further back in third.
"This filly is building an imposing record,” O’Shea said.
"She beat a great horse like Buffering who’s been punching around against Black Caviar and the like in Melbourne.
"There’s no better sprinters than those in the world so she has really stamped herself today.”
Buffering’s jockey Hugh Bowman thought his mount, who overcame a stone bruise and abscess in the lead-up to the Doomben 10000, had the race won but offered no excuse for the defeat.
"I knew she was coming but I thought I had her measure because my bloke fights like a tiger,” Bowman said. "I was on empty and she just had a bit much in the tank so full credit to her.”
Sea Siren’s victory took Cassidy’s career haul to 94 Group I wins. The Hall of Fame rider heaped praise on the daughter of Fastnet Rock. The win was Sea Siren’s fifth from seven starts and took her earnings to more than $870,000.
"Great effort to break the record,” Cassidy said. "No filly had ever won it but if anyone can the Pumper and John boy can.
"She’s such a push button filly. She’s still got a few hurdles to climb but she’s going to go along way this filly.
"She’s a real little pro.”
Sea Siren could now progress to the $1 million Group I Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9 where a re-match with Buffering would be on the cards.
Saturday - John O'Shea Racing set to shine
QUEENSLAND and RANDWICK, Thursday, May 24, 2012 - Talented juvenile Hoss Amor is set to shake the life out of the Listed The Phoenix (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday according to trainer John O’Shea.
The Champion Thoroughbreds syndicated daughter of General Nediym produced a solid effort first-up from a spell when defeated 1-3/4 lengths by Noogoora Burr in the Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) on May 12.
With the blinkers on Hoss Amor fired up early in the race after being ridden aggressively by James McDonald. From barrier one McDonald wanted to ensure his mount wasn’t trapped back behind slower horses in the run.
"He was positive from the gate and she got racing. While beaten I wasn’t disappointed with the performance,” O’Shea said.
Noogoora Burr franked the form when finishing a respectable fourth in last Saturday’s Group II Champagne Classic behind Queensland’s highly regarded juvenile Sizzling.
O’Shea has also removed the blinkers from Hoss Amor’s racing attire. The Randwick trainer says his filly has thrived since arriving in Queensland and her performance on Saturday should reflect that.
"Up to the 1350 metres is why the blinkers have come off,” he said. "I’m hoping she’ll get the right run from barrier three and if she does she’ll prove hard to hold out.”
"Great” is how O’Shea described Sea Siren 48 hours out from the Doomben 10000 (1350m).
Sea Siren will be attempting to end one of Australian racing’s longest droughts. No three-year-old filly has won Queensland’s premier weight-for-age race since it was first run in 1933.
"It’s a pretty big hurdle to overcome but no three-year-old filly had won the BTC Cup until two weeks ago either,” O’Shea said.
"She’s come on since her win a fortnight ago and I’m really happy with her. I’m sure she will run well again.”
Both Hoss Amor and Sea Siren have been installed as favourites in their respective races. Hoss Amor is a $2.30 chance while Sea Siren is at $4.20.
Meanwhile, Glintz is O’Shea’s sole runner at Rosehill on Saturday. The son of Pins contests the Blackwoods Handicap (1400m).
First-up from a spell Glintz was forced to do plenty of work in the early stages before the effort told in the back half of the race and he wilted in the straight to finish down the track.
“He’s come on since his first-up run and he’s got a good record over 1400 metres,” he said. “I’m expecting an improved performance.”
Foxwedge firing up for England
RANDWICK, Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - Trackwork clocker Craig Tompson says top three-year-old Foxwedge is in fine shape ahead of his overseas odyssey next week.
The John O’Shea-trained colt boards a plane for England in eight days time. The son of Fastnet Rock is being targeted at the Group I King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot on June 14.
Foxwedge was put through his paces last Saturday at Randwick by jockey Nash Rawiller and Tompson described the work as "outstanding”.
"He worked on the Kensington track with Hendricus over 1000 [metres],” Tompson said. "He ran 1.08.9, 36.8 [seconds – last 600 metres] and 11.2 [seconds – last 200 metres].
"He beat Hendricus comfortably. It was outstanding work.”
O’Shea said Foxwedge would have his final Australian hit-out on Friday when the three-year-old colt runs in a 900-metre barrier trial at Rosehill.
"We are giving him an easy week leading into the trial on Friday,” O’Shea said. "He hasn’t worked as well as he did on Saturday for quite a while and I’m expecting him to trial particularly well.
"He looks superb, he’s very sharp, he’s very fit, so we just need to keep things ticking along.
"He’ll go to Melbourne on Sunday and England on Wednesday.”
UK bookmakers have Foxwedge installed as a 6-1 favourite for the King’s Stand Stakes ahead of fellow Australian galloper Ortensia at 8-1.
All in order for Sea Siren
GOLD COAST, Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - John O’Shea says Wednesday’s barrier draw for the Doomben 10000 will be crucial to the chances of his top filly Sea Siren, who is currently the pre-post favourite for the $650,000 Group I event on Saturday.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock assumed favouritism for Queensland’s premier weight-for-age contest when she proved too strong for her rivals in the Group I BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 12.
O’Shea travelled to Queensland overnight to put Sea Siren through her paces over 1200 metres at the Gold Coast on Tuesday morning. The astute trainer said "there’s no doubting” that the filly had taken plenty of benefit from her first-up victory.
"I was really happy with her when I saw her this morning,” he said.
"She put in a really nice piece of work and I’m really looking forward to taking her to the races on Saturday.
"She wasn’t right at her top in the BTC Cup, she had a lot of improvement to come going into that race and there’s no doubting she’s made that improvement.”
The likely track condition on Saturday and the all-important barrier draw are the two unknowns heading into Saturday.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the chance of a few showers over the next 48 hours. On Friday more than 10 mm of rain is expected.
"I don’t think a wet track will be any concern to us,” he said. "Because there looks like there’s going to be so much speed in the race the barrier draw is going to be crucial.
"You don’t want to draw wide or you’ll be compelled to go back and going back at Doomben limits your options.”
Sea Siren will be attempting to become the first three-year-old filly to win the Doomben 10000 and will be ridden on Saturday by her regular rider Jim Cassidy.
Scone and Brisbane carnival runners report card
RANDWICK, Thursday May 17, 2012 - The John O’Shea Racing stable has a strong hand at the two-day Scone Cup carnival on Friday and Saturday while the stable’s sole Doomben representative is also expected to perform boldly on Saturday.
At Scone on Friday the stable has four runners including the favourite in the $180,000 Scone Cup and here is John O’Shea’s thoughts on each of the horses.
Race 1 @ 12.23pm – King Brown (5) (James McDonald) – He had no luck the other day when he had to do plenty of work in the run so I’d disregard it. His form at a mile is good, he’s still a maiden but he beat home Tohunga in one of his starts which is something to recommend him. He’s got an awkward gate (13) but he’ll run well.
Race 3 @ 1.33pm – Art Thou Ready (5) (James McDonald) – He’s a nice horse with a good record for a race of this nature. He’s drawn the outside (20) but is fit and ready to run a race. A bit of luck will see him right in the finish.
Race 4 @ 2.08pm – Number One Gun (1) (James McDonald) – The gate (18) is horrendous. He’s a quality horse but is going to need luck in the run a bit like Art Thou Ready. He’s more than capable in a race like that if the breaks go his way.
Race 7 @ 3.58pm – Lightinthenite (7) (James McDonald) – He was very good first-up and it’s proved to be a good form race. In the past he’s raced below what I’ve expected second-up so I’ve specifically kept him fresher for this run. His work’s been super and I’d expect that he and Star Of Octagonal are likely to fight the race out.
Scone on Saturday will see the two runners from the John O’Shea Racing stable. The two stable representatives will compete in the two feature races on the programme – the $200,000 Listed Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) and the $500,000 Inglis Scone Guineas (1400m). Here is John O’Shea’s thoughts on both horses.
Race 6 @ 3.15pm – Miss Marx (11) (James McDonald) – She got chopped out at the top of the straight last time at Hawkesbury before attacking the line late. She’s drawn to get a very good run on Saturday and she’s better suited with a big track. It’s an open race but she’s got a genuine chance.
Race 7 @ 4.00pm – Colorado Claire (11) (James McDonald) - She’s had a wonderful preparation. She’s one of two horses in the race that has won at level weights [Colorado Clare and Pampelonne]. I’m very happy with her and I think if she gets a fair run in the race she’ll be very competitive.
The Brisbane winter carnival continues at Doomben on Saturday where Bound To Blush will be aiming to continue the stable’s great start to the Queensland festival of racing after Sea Siren’s win last Saturday in the Group I BTC Cup. Here is John O’Shea’s thoughts on Bound To Blush’s prospects.
Race 4 @ 1.55pm – Bound To Blush (15) (Glyn Schofield) – She’s done very well in Brisbane and has raced very consistently this preparation. She drops back to her own sex on Saturday and there is no doubt about my filly’s form which isn’t the case for some of her opposition on Saturday. If she has some luck in the run she’ll be hard to beat.
Covers come off John O'Shea Racing's French galloper
SYDNEY, Tuesday May 15 2012 - Trainer John O’Shea will produce a French galloper formerly trained by Melbourne Cup winning trainer Alain de Royer Dupré at Canterbury on Wednesday.
O’Shea purchased Caroun, a three-year-old colt by Montjeuon behalf of clients from the Aga Kahn’s draft at the Arqana Autumn Sale at Deauville in France last year.
During his European career, Caroun has had five career starts for two wins. He debuted with a second placing in a 2200 metre race at Clairefontaine before scoring his first win, by seven lengths, in a maiden over the same distance and track.
He then failed in his next two starts on rain-affected surfaces before an impressive 2-1/2 length victory over 2200 metres at Saint-cloud on October 25.
"His best looks to be a mile and a half to probably two mile,” O’Shea said after signing for the galloper last year. "He’s a Montjeu with a nice turn of foot.
"Most importantly he’s probably better suited on top of the ground as opposed to a bit of cut in the ground and his two lesser performances were on rain-affected tracks.”
Following two 1200 metre barrier trials during April, Caroun makes his debut for the Randwick conditioner in the Mitavite Benchmark 75 Handicap (1550m).
"He’s a really nice horse,” O’Shea said. "He’s improved each time we’ve stepped him out.
"His form is at a mile and a half so I’m not expecting him to be effective until he gets to that trip but I’m really happy with the progress he’s been making.
"I’m optimistic that he’ll provide us with some nice options as soon as he gets to a mile and a half which I’d expect will be at his third run back.”
O’Shea said he will be satisfied if Caroun is doing his best work late on Wednesday. In-form rider Christian Reith will be aboard the imported galloper.
Sea Siren fairly weighted in the Stradbroke
SYDNEY, Monday May 14, 2012 - Trainer John O’Shea is satisfied with the weight allocated to his most recent Group I winner for the $1 million Group I Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 9.
Last Saturday’s BTC Cup winner was allotted 52.5kg in the Stradbroke Handicap when weights were released on Monday. Her impost is 2kg above the minimum weight ensuring the daughter of Fastnet Rock a spot in the 20 horse field for Queensland’s premier horse race.
“It’s a fair weight,” O’Shea said.
O’Shea said Sea Siren will run in the Group I Doomben 10000 (1350m) in a fortnight as the filly’s final lead-up to her main target. The trainer fired an ominous warning to his upcoming rivals suggesting the best is yet to come from his charge.
"She’ll improve. She was only 85 percent fit on Saturday and after I saw the time she ran I was slightly worried but she’s pulled up in magnificent order,” he said.
Sea Siren resumed from a seven week let-up when she became the first three-year-old filly to win the Group I BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben. In doing so the daughter of Fastnet Rock broke the race record completing the trip in 1:08.39, 0.46 seconds quicker than Black Caviar did winning the same race a year ago.
"Her time was very pleasing and it gives you the confidence that she’ll be competitive in whatever she races in horses,” O’Shea said.
Pre-post bookmakers have Sea Siren as the $7.50 Stradbroke Handicap favourite since weights were released on Monday.
John O’Shea Racing gets another taste of that Group I winning feeling
EAGLE FARM, Saturday May 12, 2012 - Untapped filly Sea Siren gave trainer John O’Shea his 16th Group I winner when she confirmed her class, becoming the first three-year-old filly to win the Group I BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Sea Siren chased a hot speed throughout the race with the free-going Adebisi running the field along. At the top of the straight, Sea Siren moved out after the leader, reeling him in quickly, before going to the line full of running.
"What a training performance by John O’Shea,” Cassidy said. "Not bad for something’s that about 85 percent [fit].”
Sea Siren ($7.50) defeated Scenic Blast ($21) by 1-1/4 lengths with Beaded ($6.50) a head away in third. Sea Siren’s winning time of 1.08.39 (last 600m 33.72 seconds) set a new race record.
O’Shea said Sea Siren is "a quality filly and she’s really stepped up to the plate”. The daughter of Fastnet Rock is her sire’s fourth individual Group I winner in Australia this season, joining her stablemate Foxwedge and fellow three-year-olds Atlantic Jewel, Mosheen.
O’Shea has more Group I races in his sights for Sea Siren during the Queensland winter carnival. The astute trainer said the filly will be give her chance to emulate the deeds of one of his former stars Private Steer, who won Queensland’s premier handicap as a three-year-old filly in 2003.
"I’ll just go to the [Doomben] 10000,” he said. "Keith [Biggs - owner] said to me during the week he was keen enough to run in the 10000.
"I’ll just get her home now and see how she is then into the Stradbroke.”
The Doomben 10000 (1350m) is run at Doomben on May 26, two weeks before the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm.
Sea Siren’s win gave the recent Australian Racing Hall of Fame inductee Jim Cassidy his first Group I win in more than three years. The win was the Australian grand slam winning rider’s 85th Group I victory and his first since partnering Vision And Power in the 2009 Doncaster Mile.
"It’s been a while between Group Is and it’s a great thrill,” Cassidy said.
Ready To Fire For Feature Doomben Sprint
SYDNEY, Wednesday 9 May, 2012 – John O’Shea will launch his first attack on this years Brisbane Winter Carnival this Saturday at Doomben.
O’Shea will saddle a strong hand of three runners on the day, two of which will contest the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200 m).
Well credentialed fillies EliteFalls and Sea Siren will be more than competitive O’Shea explains.
“EliteFalls obviously was very good in the Oakleigh Plate and has been a shade disappointing in her two runs since,”
ABOVE: Elite Falls cruising to victory in the Reisling Slipper Trial.
“We have elected to take the blinkers off her on Saturday, she worked in outstanding order here on the Randwick course proper yesterday morning and she has had the work kept up to her since her last run.”
EliteFalls drew barrier thirteen in a field of fifteen runners which O’Shea said luck had not presented in any case for the daughter of More Than Ready this racing preparation.
“Thirteen (barrier) is far from ideal and she will be forced to be ridden cold and hopefully get the breaks when asked up the running.”
“She is going well here at home and looks accordingly, so our expectation of her is that she can step up to the plate come Saturday.”
Larry Cassidy has been enaged to ride EliteFalls.
Sea Siren however has different credentials heading into the feature Group 1.
LEFT: Talented filly Sea Siren is on a Group 1 path.
“Sea Siren is by no means as forward as the other filly but fresh up she has been dynamite and she will need to be, come Saturday,”
“She is obviously up significantly in grade, but her form is through Streama who as we all know is an above average filly, which we think Sea Siren fits into that category.”
“Sea Siren’s advantage is that she has drawn soft and Jimmy (Cassidy) should be able to negotiate a conventional enough run in transit for her to really attack the line.”
“I’m really happy with her as she heads down the Stradbroke (Handicap) path.” O’Shea added.
The other O’Shea runner in the Hampden Stakes (1200 m), which will be lightly raced two year old filly Hoss Amor, who on debut was a victor in the Wyong Magic Millions 2YO Classic back in December.
She progressed to an unplaced effort in the Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic before O’Shea sent her to the paddock.
“The plan was always to have this filly contest the Brisbane Winter two year old races,”
“She has settled in well into her Queensland surroundings and she had the two trials which have both been encouraging.” O’Shea explained.
“James McDonald takes the ride on Saturday which is always an added positive, but this filly is going well and her performance on Saturday will guide us as to where we head with her over the coming month.”
Lightinthenite Continues Winning Strike Rate
SYDNEY, Saturday 21 April, 2012 - The James McDonald juggernaut continued on into Race 3 at Royal Randwick this afternoon when the champion kiwi jockey scored on the John O’Shea trained Lightinthenite.
ABOVE: Lightinthenite powers to the line this afternoon to continuing his winning race record.
McDonald claimed the first three races on the card this afternoon. Lightinthenite finished too powerfully to beat Skyerush by a neck, aided by a piece of wizardry in the saddle.
"I was just excited about it being a big day,'' record-breaking New Zealand jockey James McDonald said after winning the opening three races on Doncaster day at Headquarters.
McDonald got the favourite Dear Demi home in the first, then won Single Style before the O'Shea-trained Lightinthenite steamed home in the third.
O'Shea has been instrumental in enticing McDonald to Sydney.
''Today is a little taste of what is to come from James,'' said O'Shea, who rated Lightinthenite a ''horse of the future''.
''Ideally I would have liked to run in the Doomben Cup but it might come a bit quick,'' O'Shea said.
''He'll go to the Scone Cup.''
Performing On The Elite Stage
SYDNEY, Thursday 19 April, 2012 – Randwick conditioner John O’Shea is relying on on Elite Fall’s first class ability on the grandest stage, for to figure in Saturday’s Group I Galaxy (1100m) at Royal Randwick.
The three-year-old filly by has competed at Group I level on three previous occasions. She placed third in last season’s Golden Slipper behind Sepoy and Mosheen and was beaten with a bob of the head, when attacking the line strongly by Woorim in the Oakleigh Plate earlier this year.
ABOVE: Trainer John O'Shea warns Elite Falls will feature in calculations in Saturday's Group 1 Galaxy.
O’Shea warned to to forgive the daughter of More Than Ready after her last start fifth in the Group II Challenge Stakes (1100m) on March 31.
"She had a good break after her first-up run, in the Oakleigh Plate she was really tuned up to the mark,” O’Shea said.
"She needed that run in the Challenge and has come along in very good since.”
"She completed a lovely piece of work here on the course proper on Tuesday morning and is coming back to her peak, fitness wise.”
O’Shea said his main concern heading into Saturday is he doesn’t want to see EliteFalls "get too far back from the gate” with the recently-inducted Hall of Fame jockey Jim Cassidy in the saddle.
"She does look well weighted in not a strong version of The Galaxy, so hopefully she can pick up that Group I she probably justly deserves,” he said.
Lightinthenite & Miss Marx round off O’Shea’s charges on Doncaster Day at Headquarters on Saturday.
“Lightinthenite statistics first up a very good and there is no reason for that to change, his fitness is good and he is drawn where McDonald (jockey James McDonald) can give him the run of the race,”
“Although this is a much tougher grade than he has faced first up previously.” O’Shea added.
“Miss Marx, with the current state of the track because off the inclement weather I think we will leave her at home as her form on rain effected footing is inferior.”
Faultless Preparations For The Grandest Of Group 1 Stages
SYDNEY, Friday 13 April, 2012 – Randwick conditioner John O’Shea combines with owner Dr Edmund Bateman tomorrow in another chapter to their so far short but highly successful relationship.
Dr Bateman, through his bloodstock agent James Harron, had his eye on the future at the Easter yearling sales this week but will also chase Group One success with two high profile colts at Royal Randwick.
ABOVE: Foxwedge and Nash Rawiller powering to victory in last months Group 1 William Reid Stakes.
Racing in Dr Bateman’s green tartan colours he will watch three-year-old Foxwedge and two-year-old Ashokan in action in the TJ Smith Stakes and Sires’ Produce Stakes respectively.
Foxwedge, who cost $925,000 as a yearling, secured his future at stud with a Group One victory in the William Reid Stakes last month and Bateman sold a controlling interest in the colt to Newgate Farm which will stand him as its foundation sire.
Bateman and his wife Belinda will retain a 25 per cent share.
Before he goes to stud in the spring, the John O’Shea-trained colt has Group One assignments in the TJ Smith (1200m) and also in England at Royal Ascot in the King’s Stand Stakes.
“It’s always an anxiety racing these horses at that level because it’s never a given,” Bateman said.
“Group One racing is serious competition.”
“I think one of the major issues is we need the horse (Foxwedge) to run this week as he’s preparing to go to Ascot.
“Clearly we would love to win the TJ as well. From my point of view it’s a home town, home track run and I’d just love to see him do well there for his own sake but also personally.”
Trainer O’Shea revealed the transition Foxwedge has made since arriving back in his Sydney stable.
“He has done very well between runs as he usually does, but he really has some real sting in his work when we have asked him,”
“He was very sharp Tuesday morning and he is right at the top of his game.”
Ashokan from a wide gate in his last start Golden Slipper run O’Shea explained of the colts effort.
ABOVE: Ashokan at his second start showed promising ability winning Group 3 Skyline Stakes.
“Well we were dictated when the barrier draw came out Tuesday and we were only beaten four and half lengths.”
“Tomorrow will be a different kettle of fish, and the whole dynamics of the race will change, Ashokan has had a faultless week and we are delighted with his overall condition.”
It Does Not Get Any BIGGER! O'Shea's Three Slipper Charges
SYDNEY, Thursday 5April, 2012 – Premier Kiwi hoop James McDonald embarks on another defining experience on Saturday afternoon in his short outstanding career.
McDonald has been engaged on John O’Shea’s exciting colt Ashokan in the worlds premier 2YO race the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200 m) at RosehillGardens.
McDonald has formed an association with O’Shea, that has seen him briefly on and off in Sydney riding race day and also trackwork.
ABOVE: Ashokan winning the Group 3 Skyline Stakes in his final start before Saturday's Golden Slipper.
O’Shea had McDonald involved right from the infancy in his Golden Slipper aspirants preparations.
“We’re nearly here son,” O’Shea quipped at McDonald Tuesday morning at the Randwick track.
“Now you know why we had you here those seven odd months ago.”
O’Shea was referring to McDonald working with his three Golden Slipper colts that have obtained a start, Ashokan, Shelford and Faustus.
Back in September on an early Spring morning McDonald put Ashokan and Shelford through there paces, further educating them and then trialling both colts.
And so all these months on it was only appropriate that who else to put O’Shea’s three Slipper colts through their final serious fast work exercise but McDonald.
Both trainer and jockey reflected on the road taken to get to the world's richest race for two-year-olds.
"To think how excited we were back in the Spring son, with this week in the forefront of where we could end up with these colts.” O’Shea shared with McDonald.
"Isn't that amazing," O'Shea said.
"That just tells you how long we've waited to get to this day." O’Shea added.
McDonald’s mountAshokan turned in an extremely strong piece of work on the Randwick course proper on Tuesday morning.
"Everything is pretty spot-on for him and he worked with a pretty good horse so we have a good line on him," McDonald said.
“One thing you can always be confident when aboard John’s horses because they will have had marvelous preparations and grounding, and Ashokan is no different.”
That "pretty good horse" was three-year-old Foxwedge who had won the Group One William Reid Stakes defeating Hay List just 10 days ago.
"He (Foxwedge) is a Group One winner and a three-year-old. A tough worker," McDonald said.
"It was lovely work Ashokan felt great throughtout in himself and he ran through the line full of running.”
“I just can’t wait for Saturday.”
McDonald said the development in Ashokan since last year had been incredible.
"It's just amazing what six months does for a horse," he said.
"I'm grateful truly grateful to John for giving me the opportunity.”
O'Shea's three Slipper runners all fared poorly at the barrier draw with Faustus (Jim Cassidy) in 13, Ashokan in 14 and Shelford
(Brett Prebble) 15.
But as far as the colts' preparations are concerned, O'Shea has been delighted.
"I couldn't have asked for anything better," O'Shea said of their final gallops.
"Their preparations have been fantastic which is important when you are trying to win Group Ones.”
"There's nothing between all three of them. They have all got their little idiosyncrasies in terms of what they prefer on the day and the one that gets things to go their way in terms of track conditions etcetera is going to be the most effective."
“We have engaged three riders that are in the top echelon of jockeys in the world,”
“Barriers are out of our control, all that has been in our control there isn’t a great deal we would change.”
O’Shea explained Faustus would be ridden aggressive with blinkers off on Saturday.
ABOVE: Imposing colt Faustus will be put into the race from the outset in Saturday's Group 1 Golden Slipper.
“Jimmy won’t die wondering, Faustus is a big, tough, sound colt that will handle all that is thrown at him on Saturday.”
Iggi Pop Has O'Shea Rocking
SYDNEY, Sunday 1 April, 2012 – Form trainer John O’Shea was most excited about his progressive stayer Iggi Pop when the 3YO remained unbeaten this afternoon on the Kensington track in the ASCEND SALES HANDICAP over 1800 m.
Iggi Pop was purchased by O’Shea for Segenhoe Thoroughbreds, after his sole start in New Zealand last year when running sixth.
Iggi Pop out stayed rivals first up for O’Shea at Newcastle over 1500 m and stepped up this afternoon over the 1800 m and on raw ability he was dominant.
“He is a very promising young stayer this horse, to do what he has done today at just his second start for us is quite exciting,”
“He is a genuine staying conveyance that will lap up a mile and a half.” O’Shea said.
Ridden by Nash Rawiller who when engaged by O’Shea to ride, they are a lethal combination.
Rawiller elected to roll forward from the gate and ended up settling in a lovely position fourth one off.
Rounding for home Rawiller had a lap full of horse and once up over the rise Iggi Pop dispatched of his rivals and shot away, although green once out in front by himself he wa strong right through the line, over a length clear.
“Providing he pulls up alright he will back up this coming Saturday at Rosehill in the Tulloch Stakes (2000 m).” O’Shea added.
Bound To Blush Remains Unbeaten
SYDNEY, Wednesday 28 March, 2012 – John O’Shea confirmed Bound To Blush is on a stakes race mission, after the talented filly maintained her unbeaten record at CanterburyPark this afternoon in the FOLLOW SYDNEY CARNIVAL ON FACEBOOK TO WIN HANDICAP (1200 m).
Bound To Blush always looked in control and dictated the race from the outset when taking control of the race to find the lead.
ABOVE: Bounding away this afternoon was Bound To Blush in the hands of Nash Rawiller.
In the hands of champion jockey Nash Rawiller the Strategic filly cruised to a 1 and ¾ lengths victory.
She will now return to the same track for the Listed PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) Friday 13th April.
The PJ Bell is also a target for stablemate Princess Layla who finished eighth in the same event.
O'Shea believes Bound To Blush, who has won three from three, and also Princess Layla can play their parts in the PJ Bell.
"Bound To Blush has a lot of improvement in her on whatever she did today and I think she'll be competitive," O'Shea said.
"I think both fillies have got a lot to offer going forward."
It's All Colorado Claire In The Phar Lap
SYDNEY, Saturday 24 March, 2012 - Colorado Claire has bounced back from an eighth-place effort in the Canberra Guineas to take top honours in today’s Phar Lap Stakes at RosehillGardens.
Ridden by up and coming New Zealand jockey James McDonald, Colorado Claire proved too good for the males and won by a head in front of Rekindled Alliance to take top billings in the Group 2 $175,000 event.
ABOVE: Quality all round, James McDonald combined with talented filly Colorado Claire in a powerful display.
Colorado Claire’s trainer John O’Shea was full of praise for both horse and jockey alike after the race.
“She’s always been a really quality filly,” O’Shea said.
“The other thing we have to make mention of is this wonderful talent that is James McDonald.”
“He’s just a wonderful rider.”
McDonald said he was grateful to be riding some quality horses for the O’Shea stable.
“The whole team of O’Shea stable have been really good. It’s easy to steer these good horses,” he said.
“Especially riding for a trainer like John, he always has them fit and placed right.
“It’s a pleasure to ride for him.”
Colorado Claire is a highly promising filly and now has an excellent early career record of five wins from seven starts.
Foxwedge Delivers On Grandest Stage
MELBOURNE, Friday 23 March, 2012 – Tonight John O’Shea’s glamour colt Foxwedge, turned potential into performance and became the most valuable colt in racing currently in work.
At MooneeValley tonight, Foxwedge, finally broke through for his first Group 1 win, and earned himself a trip to Royal Ascot and secured his future as a stallion prospect when he took out the $400,000 Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).
This was no soft major race win either - Foxwedge had to run down the world's second best sprinter Hay List to take out the feature race.
ABOVE: Group delight, Nash Rawiller rises in salute of victory aboard Foxwedge .
Foxwedge, ridden Nash Rawiller who gave an equally brilliant performance in the saddle, came from behind Hay List on the turn and finished too powerfully to score a thrilling win with early leader Buffering holding on for third.
The Group 1 success adds considerably to Foxwedge's worth as a sire.
Foxwedge's win is priceless for trainer John O'Shea, who has endured the most tumultuous period of his career after a recent Court of Appeal decision ruled he had to pay out damages and costs to an owner over a disputed yearling purchase.
"It's well-documented the trouble John and the family has had so this win will mean a lot to him, I’m wrapt for him." O'Shea's stable foreman Bryce Heys said at MooneeValley.
"We have always known Foxwedge was a Group 1 horse and a colt of enormous quality and this win justifies life after racing for him. He has come out tonight at weight-for-age and beaten a genuine Group 1 field - full credit to John and Foxwedge."
Rawiller produced a tactically brilliant ride on Foxwedge.
Hay List looked to be travelling like a winner on the home turn when ranged alongside Buffering but Rawiller was stalking the leaders on Foxwedge, waiting for the right moment to strike.
Rawiller and Foxwedge peeled off Hay List's back at the top of the straight and the young sprinter showed a tremendous burst of acceleration to overwhelm his older, more seasoned rival.
"Geez, he's a good colt," Rawiller said.
"When you give him the last shot at them, he's a damn good horse, I was confident a long way from home.”
"This colt has that real X-factor about him, he always has."
Foxwedge Continues Charge For Elusive Group 1
MELBOURNE, Tuesday 20 March, 2012 – Randwick horseman John O'Shea realises the enormity of the task confronting his glamour colt Foxwedge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at MooneeValley on Friday night.
Foxwedge will front up against sprint sensation Hay List and O’Shea clearly acknowledges that Hay List is rated globally at the top of the sprint rankings and that Foxwedgewill have to meet him 6kg worse at the weights than in the Newmarket Handicap.
ABOVE: Foxwedge and Nash Rawiller reunite in Friday's Group 1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.
O’Shea was happy with Foxwedge's third placed effort to Hay List in the Newmarket, but said it was an opportunity lost.
Foxwedge (ridden by Craig Williams in the Newmarket) raced in a more forward than usual position and O'Shea was confident a change in tactics could help reverse the result in the 1200m William Reid.
"Craig said he was out on his feet with 400m to go, so to finish where he did was a mighty effort," O'Shea said.
"With Hay List and Buffering in the race on Friday, there will be genuine speed on, so we will look at the option of sitting off them.”
"The effort was there in the Newmarket, but the execution was poor. All we can do is get our house back in order, which we have, with Nash Rawiller back aboard who has a great affinity with him, and have our colt in the best condition possible.”
"He did a bit wrong in the Newmarket. He got running when he didn't get cover in the early part of the race and it negated his finish."
"We really look forward to Friday night and hopefully having our share of luck." O'Shea added.
Ashokan Storms Into Golden Slipper Calculations
SYDNEY, Saturday 17 March, 2012- Ashokan added to trainer John O'Shea's gathering forces for the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes when he surged to the top of the order of entry with a classy win in the form of Ashokan over the previously unbeaten Raceway in the $125,000 Hyland Colours Skyline Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
ABOVE: Pumping to victory, Ashokan under Jimmy Cassidy's guidance scores impressively this afternoon.
Ashokan, racing for just the second time after a promising debut second at Rosehill three weeks ago, showed speed and stamina to score a tough win the Group 3 Skyline Stakes and secure ballot exemption for the $3.5 million AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 7.
Ridden by Jim Cassidy, Ashokan was keen in the run with blinkers applied for the first time sitting on a hot speed throughout in the lead.
However Ashokan showed his class to surge to a clear lead in the straight and then raised another effort in the last 100 m to hold off a late finish from the race favourite Raceway.
O'Shea now has prospects of lining up three high class colts in the Golden Slipper with Ashokan, Black Opal Stakes second Faustus and the promising Shelford all in contention.
Shelford, who has raced just once for a close second to Raceway at Warwick Farm, was a late scratching from the Skyline Stakes after a track downgrade to a slow 7 and will now attempt to qualify for a Slipper start through next Saturday's Todman Stakes at Rosehill.
Cassidy was impressed by Ashokan's performance but also the option to ride stablemate Faustus, currently inside the top 18 on the order of entry, in the Golden Slipper and will delay a decision on his ride until after that colt runs in the Todman Stakes.
However Cassidy said Ashokan had shown that he could measure up to the pressure of the Slipper with his Skyline win.
"He was really switched on in the blinkers for the first time and I was bit worried he had done too much work in the first half against himself but he dug deep and showed class," Cassidy said of Ashokan's performance.
"I think he's the real deal. He's improved a lot from his first start and is going places."
O'Shea expects Ashokan to take a lot of benefit from the win and the experience of racing in blinkers for the first time.
"He's learning and that's probably going to be his issue going into the Slipper but he was strong though the line and can only improve," O'Shea said.
"He's got very good gate speed and if we get the right conditions in the Slipper he is going to be in the mix."
ABOVE: James Harron and John O'Shea post Ashokan's Skyline Stakes Win.
Ashokan is by More Than Ready out of Group winning Flying Spur mare November Flight, James Harron of James Harron Bloodstock secured Ashokan for $810,000 at last years Inglis Easter Yearling Sale on behalf of prominent owner Dr Edmund Bateman and Mrs Belinda Bateman.
O'Shea Readied For Return To Headquarters
SYDNEY, Thursday 15 March, 2012 - The return to Randwick on Saturday will be about track conditions which will determine the leading hope for trainer John O'Shea in the Listed Aspiration Quality.
O'Shea will saddle up Tigress Lily and Think Mink in the Fillies & Mares event over the famous Randwick Mile (1600 m),having won the race with Warpath last year and Pravana in 2008.
"Think Mink, needs cut in the ground and if she gets it she'll be right in the race," O'Shea said.
ABOVE: Step up, Tigress Lily contests the Asipration Quality on Saturday in search of black type.
"Tigress Lily needs it firm and I couldn't be happier with her and the manner in which she will come forward for Saturday.”
"If she gets a nice surface on Saturday, she'll be very hard to beat.”
"Track conditions will determine which horse will be in the finish."
Think Mink will step up to 1600m for the first time while Tigress Lily has been freshened to drop in distance after running over 2000 metres at her most recent start at Rosehill five weeks ago.
"Tigress Lily is just going really well," O'Shea said.
"Even after that win at Canterbury, her next start she got a wet track and still ran fourth even though she wasn't happy at any stage.”
"I thought her trial last week was good and she worked really well here on Tuesday morning."
O'Shea's Randwick team for Saturday's Randwick Guineas meeting also includes Alberton Park in the Listed Wenona Girl Handicap (1200m).
Alberton Park has run well in all three starts since joining the Randwick trainer's team and O'Shea opted to scratch the mare from last week's Wiggle Stakes (1400m) to wait for this.
The O'Shea-trained Steps In Time was a dominant winner of the Wiggle.
"She drew 16 and the track was off so there were two good reasons to leave her at home last week," O'Shea said.
"We thought the tempo of the race from her barrier would have been against her. She hasn't helped herself again with a wide draw (barrier 13) but she's flying so she's got to go to the races.”
"I think she's going to need luck from that gate. Jimmy (Cassidy) is going to have to be at his best."
Alberton Park finished a close second to Dystopia in the Listed Triscay Stakes (1200m) last start and Dystopia will be a rival again on Saturday.
O'Shea-trained stablemates Shelford and Ashokan, meanwhile, will be out to attempt to enhance their Golden Slipper prospects in the Group Three Skyline Stakes.
“Both quality colts, that are there to fight the finish out,”
“The nature of the way their preparations has gone is why they have ended up running against each other this week.”
Steps In Time Continues Winning Black Type Streak in Wiggle
SYDNEY, Saturday 10 March, 2012 – Steps In Time continued her promising progression in taking another giant stride along the path to autumn riches when she thrashed a smart field of mares by four and a half lengths at Warwick Farm this afternoon in the Listed ATC Wiggle Quality.
The John O'Shea trained mare strode clear in the early stages to take up the running for Jim Cassidy, sitting wide on the track before being given rein and bounding away at the top of the straight.
The four-year-old Danehill Dancer provided a happy end to a challenging few days for her trainer, who lost a long-running court battle earlier in the week.
ABOVE: Free Flowing Steps In Time asserts dominace in the Wiggle Stakes this afternoon.
"It's been well documented the week John has had,” stable foreman Bryce Heys said.
"It's fitting it's her because she's tough and resilient, the man on top (Cassidy) is tough and resilient and our boss John O'Shea is tough and resilient."
Heys said "there's only one race mares in form go to at this time of year” after confirming Steps In Timewould progress to the Group I Coolmore Classic (1500 m) at Rosehill on March 24.
“She is undefeated this preparation, she has defied the handicapper each time, she will be very well placed going to the Coolmore in a fortnight, fourth up right at the top of her game.”
Grand Slam winning jockey Jim ‘Pumper’ Cassidy described his winning ride aboard Steps In Time this afternoon was like "taking candy from a baby”.
"That was a put in, take-out job,” Cassidy said.
Foxwedge Primed For Biggest Career Start
SYDNEY, Tuesday 6 March, 2012 - Form Randwick conditioner John O’Shea is delighted in Foxwedge’s lead up, as the crack colt rounded off his prepration this morning at Flemington for Saturday’s Group I Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
The three-year-old by Fastnet Rock was dominant in an 800-metre jump-out on the course proper with Saturday’s jockey Craig Williams in the saddle.
"I wasn’t there but they said he went well,” O’Shea said.
"Craig Williams is happy with him.”
ABOVE: Imposing colt Foxwedge is set for Saturday's Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200 m).
O’Shea has made continual trips to Melbourne to oversee Foxwedge and last Friday took him to gallop at MooneeValley and said the Group I placed sprinter is in tremendous order.
"I went down last Friday, he had a gallop at MooneeValley, he’s going very well,”
"I’m pretty happy with him.”
O’Shea is under no illusions of the task ahead of Foxwedge on Saturday.
He said the horse is at the top of his game ahead the most important race of the colt’s career.
During the spring Foxwedge produced a career best performance when a close second behind Sepoy in the Group I Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby day.
He was then spelled before resuming in the Lightning Stakes on February 18 where he finished fourth behind Black Caviar.
"He’s a far superior horse [compared to the spring],” he said.
"He’s improved dramatically but he had to because it’s going to be a very strong version of the Newmarket.” O’Shea explains.
"He comes into the race at the right scale with the right profile.”
Foxwedge drops from his Lightning Stakes weight of 55.5kg to 50kg in Saturday’s feature sprint.
SEE LINK BELOW TO VIEW FOXWEDGE'S JUMPOUT @ FLEMINGTON THIS MORNING;
Champion Thoroughbreds 2012 Yearling Parade & Party – This Sunday!
SYDNEY, Wednesday 29 February, 2012 - The Champion Thoroughbreds annual Yearling Parade and Party is this Sunday 4th March.
Organize yourself, friends and family and free up your Sunday so that you can join the Champion Team at the Champion Thoroughbreds 2012 Yearling Parade and Party to be held at the historical William Inglis Sales Complex, located at 1 Young Street, Randwick, NSW 2031.
We encourage you to arrive at for the Parade of our 2012 syndication yearlings, which will be held in the main sales ring. This will be followed by drinks and canapés. The event will conclude at .
If you haven’t already, make sure you email to let the Champion Team know if you will be attending and how many people are in your party. Email Belinda@championthoroughbreds.com.au or call (02) 9436 0795.
Group 1 Oakleigh Plate Awaits Elite Falls's Autumn Return
MELBOURNE, Thursday 23 February, 2012 – John O’Shea believes he has EliteFalls somewhere near back to her best as she contests the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100 m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
EliteFalls will be first up into her Autumn preparation and O’Shea says he is disregarding her disappointing Spring program as he is dealing with a different filly this time around.
ABOVE: Rejuvinated Elite Falls kicks off her Autumn campaign in Saturday's Group 1 Oakleigh Plate.
“From the outset she is definitely a short course filly and she will be kept to sprinting distances,” O’Shea said.
“I wanted to run her at 1100 m first up and when you have a filly as well credentialed as her there are limited options and we are forced into the top grade.”
O’Shea explains that the 2011 Reisling Slipper Trial winner and Golden Slipper third placegetter is back bigger than ever.
“She really spelled well through the summer and she is big robust filly now,”
“We gave her a soft trial win before coming down here to really give her some confidence and she has trained on in tremendous order,”
“She is giving us all the right indications here at home and there is not a lot more we can do, she needs to give us something on raceday.” He explained.
“Look, she is first up with improvement to come, there is doubting that, but we have her fitness levels where they need to be to be competitive, albeit she will jump from the outside gate,”
“Her chances definitely rely on the weather and should there be advent of any rain and wet conditions that will bring her into calculations.” O’Shea added.
Colorado Claire Strolls In At The Park
SYDNEY, Wednesday 22 February, 2012 – Rising three year old filly Colorado Claire was effortless in her winning performance this afternoon in the HYLAND RACE COLOURS HANDICAP over 1250 m at Canterbury Park.
Trained by Randwick horseman John O’Shea, Colorado Claire had Nash Rawiller in the saddle who really had control of the race from the outset.
The Hussonet filly rolled forward from the jump and stayed off the rail to eventually comeback under Rawiller and sit outside the lead.
Rounding for home Rawiller kept the big striding filly balanced and pulled to the centre of the track and let her lengthen stride 250 m to coast to the line comfortably.
“She is a quality filly with improvement to come and her effort today first up and carrying 59kg had plenty of merit.,”
“We will be guided by how she does post run and look at the option of the Surround Stakes in two and half weeks.” O’Shea added.
Reigning champion Sydney jock, Rawiller was delighted in Colorado Claire’s performance.
“She is really nice filly that is going places,”
“There is much better things in store for her, she gives me a super feel,” Rawiller explained.
“She had control of the race right from the start and I just let her go around and comfortably go through her gears.”
Exciting Sea Siren Claims Light Fingers
SYDNEY, Saturday 18 February, 2012 - Grand Salm winning jockey Jim Cassidy rose in the saddle and saluted after Sea Siren claimed this afternoon’s Light Fingers Stakes and the jockey was stilling raving on weighing in. ''Yes, I love it,'' Cassidy said.
All the more when blokes like Perth owners Keith Biggs and Rod ''Butch'' Russell are the owners.
''I've ridden for Keith for 25 years, Dignity Dancer, goes right back to Paklani,'' Cassidy said.
ABOVE: Sea Siren proved she has exciting future when beating a top field of fillies this afternoon.
Cassidy and Sea Siren's trainer John O'Shea combined to win the Breeders Classic early in the day courtesy of Steps In Time.
''I rode this filly on Tuesday and I said to John 'I don't declare one often, but she is flying'. I rang Biggs and told him to get over here, don't miss it but he couldn't come.''
“Its full credit to John and his staff this was only this filly’s fourth race start and John made it it very clear that we didn’t want to miss today and that she was capable of rising to the task.”
“There are some very good fillies behind her but she is a rising star that will improve don’t worry about that, because she is in the right hands.” Cassidy added.
Steps In Time Continues Her Quality Winning Record
SYDNEY, Saturday 18 February, 2012 – Rising talent Steps In Time was victorious in the Group Two Breeders' Classic (1200 m) at Warwick Farm this afternoon and justified trainer John O’Shea’s intention to progress towards the Group 1 Coolmore Classic.
Champion hoop Jim Cassidy took the initiative aboard Steps In Time from the outsetearly in Saturday's Breeders' Classic and maintained the pressure throughout.
Cassidy controlled the tempo throughout the race and on straightening he hooked to the centre of the track and continued to poor the pressure on, Steps In Time responded and she broke the hearts of her rivals to find the line strongly three quarters of a length clear.
ABOVE: Steps In Time took the step up in grade and proved dominant this afternoon.
Cassidy said it was always the plan to dominate.
"We wanted to be positive," he said.
"She keeps improving and took the next step today.
"Not a bad ride either - that helped."
Winning Form Is Good Form
SYDNEY, Friday 17 February, 2012 - Fitness on the sides of Steps In Time and AlbertonPark is what form Randwick conditioner John O’Shea is banking on to give both mares an edge in tomorrow’s Breeders Classic (1200m) at Warwick Farm.
LEFT: Quality mare Steps In Time is a winner.
The compressed weight scale is certainly not in O’Shea’s mares favour, given Group 1 winner Beaded is only carrying 3kg above the minimum but O'Shea says he is pleased with both mares form profiles in the lead up to tomorrow’s Group 2 contest.
"They are both coming into the Breeders off confidence-boosting wins and that is always a positive sign with mares," he said.
"Steps In Time had good improvement up her sleeve first-up and AlbertonPark couldn’t of been more impressive when on debut for the stable.”
"If you had just looked at AlbertonPark’s trials and how she had been working at home we weren’t surprised at all with how she won.”
RIGHT: Alberton Park debuted for
O'Shea with an authoritive win.
"Her form in Queensland was okay, but it wasn't flash, I think she is thriving in the new environment."
O’Shea also fancies Sea Siren in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes, on the same program at the Farm.
“Obviously Sea Siren is coming out of mid week grade but she is a filly of some quality and with a good level of ability and we are confident that she can make the necessary progression,”
LEFT: Exciting filly Sea Siren.
“She was dynamite in her work on Tuesday morning and we look forward to taking her to the races.”
In what is a big day for O'Shea the promising Hendricus kick starts his Autumn campaign in the Royal Sovereign Stakes.
RIGHT:Commencing his preparation,Hendricus.
"Hendricus really is stepping up in grade but we have think when he gets out to further in trip 1400 m to a mile (1600 m) he will be competitive in this grade of horse and tomorrow is starting point to gauge where we are going forward." O'Shea described.
The Randwick horseman has been impressed with his two-year-old Shelford, a lovely bred Redoute's Choice colt, and is looking forward to his debut in the Canonbury Stakes.
"It is never easy for a horse to kick off their career in a stakes race, especially against a horse like Raceway, but this has been our plan all along and it gives us an opportunity to see where we are at," O'Shea said.
"Both his trials have been sound and I think he is a very nice horse."
Lightening Foxwedge Ready To Strike
MELBOURNE, Thursday 16 February, 2012 - Trainer John O'Shea is under no illusions of the difficulty of taking on superstar Black Caviar with his three-year-old glamour colt Foxwedge in Saturday's Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington.
"I'm sticking to my plan which was always to run him first-up in the Lightning Stakes and I won't be changing from that regardless of whether Black Caviar is running,'' O'Shea said.
"I know it's going to be difficult to beat her but on the flipside if there is ever going to be an opportunity to do so it could be Saturday with her coming back from 1400m to 1000 m,'' he said.
"In reality if we're ever going to take her on it's a good time to do so with the backing up factor and also the distance factor.''
"I'm not saying we are going to beat her but we'll be there trying.”
ABOVE: Exploding partnership: Foxwedge and jockey Nash Rawiller resume in Saturday's Lightening Stakes.
Foxwedge has not started since he finished a very close second to benchmark colt Sepoy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day at the end of October.
The Fastnet Rock colt has arrived in Melbourne and settled in well without any complications according to the Randwick conditioner.
"He has done nothing but please since his arrival and he will be ready to rock ‘n roll come Saturday," O'Shea said.
Foxwedge showed an affinity for the straight course with his very close second to benchmark colt Sepoy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day at the end of October, justifying O'Shea’s intention of aiming him for a first-up tilt at the prestigious Melbourne sprint.
“Nash (Rawiller) has a very good understanding of our colt and his affinity with Foxwedge is big and their performances together have been first class,”
“So there will be no need to over complicate things.”
Foxwedge will have a two-start campaign in Melbourne with the Group One Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 10 also on the agenda.
If the colt won one or both races, O'Shea said he would sit down with owner Dr Edmund Bateman and discuss the possibility of a trip to Royal Ascot.
Think Mink Presses Carnival Claims
SYDNEY, Saturday 11 February, 2012 - Think Mink romped home to victory this afternoon in the Hicksons Handicap (1400m) at RosehillGardens.
Trainer John O’Shea regards the former Kiwi resident as black type quality and he’ll look towards the Listed Aspirations Quality (1600m) and the Group III Epona Stakes (1900m) during Sydney Carnival after Think Mink’s impressive performance.
ABOVE: Think Mink explodes away to victory in the hands of jockey Blake Shinn this afternoon.
"I think they are races that will suit perfectly, which we have always had in mind for her.” O’Shea, who’s won two of the last four Aspirations Qualitys, said.
"She’s bred to run a bit further.”
Jockey Blake Shinn gave Think Mink plenty of time to find her feet in the early stages of the race, settling back near the tail of the field before sucking up on the inside at the top of the straight.
Once Think Mink was presented and saw daylight, she sprinted quickly to put the result beyond doubt and win comfortably.
"It was a great ride from Blake,” O’Shea said.
"We were adamant the rail was a good spot.”
"I said to him to be patient and hold the rail as long as he could and it worked out in our favour.” O’Shea added.
Leading Strong To The Wire
SYDNEY, Wednesday 8 February, 2012 – Always showing promise, the John O’Shea trained Leading delivered second up from a spell in the KEMBLA GRANGE HANDICAP (1300 m) this afternoon at Kembla Grange.
Receiving a trouble free run in transit beyond midfield, Leading came with a strong run through the centre and got the split at the furlong for comeback rider Blake Shinn to punch him out strongly through the line to get up on the wire.
“A lovely ride from Blake which the horse appreciated and once he saw day light he attacked the line late as he does appreciate the cut out of the track.” O’Shea remarked.
“This is a lovely result as he has further improvement in him once we get him out in trip.”
Shinn was equally complimentary of Leading’s performance.
“He’s a nice horse who had had form on Heavy going and he was really strong late,”
“He is a promising stayer going forward and he gave me a good feel today.”
Debutante For O'Shea A Stroll In The Park
SYDNEY, Saturday 21 January, 2012 - Former Queensland mare AlbertonPark made a successful debut for the Randwick stable of John O’Shea when taking out Saturday’s Australian Turf Club Handicap (1200m) at RosehillGarden this afternoon.
O’Shea described Alberton Park as "uncomplicated” and said the key to her progression in the Sydney autumn carnival was to get another win on the board.
ABOVE: Alberton Park charges to victory this afternoon at Rosehill Gardens.
O'Shea didn't mince words when he told owner Tony Bott what he expected of the new stable acquisition.
"I told Tony this morning if she doesn't run well we are in a world of pain because she's done nothing wrong," O'Shea said.
O'Shea's judgment was vindicated as AlbertonPark was impressive at her Sydney debut, scoring a comfortable win
"She’s a very uncomplicated little mare. Her trials have been good. Her work has been good and she raced accordingly,” O’Shea said.
"We’ve welcomed her into the stable. The biggest thing with these mares is to get them winning and she’s done that now.”
The Randwick horseman is eying off the Listed Wiggle Stakes over 1400 metres to be run at Warwick Farm on March 10.
Winning jockey Chad Schofield said he was "pretty confident” about AlbertonPark’s prospects rounding the home turn.
The rising apprentice slotted the five-year-old in fourth position, one off the fence before peeling widest and rolling before the point of the turn.
AlbertonPark responded to Schofield riding in the early part of the straight and quickly reeled in early leaders Forward Love and Rosie’s Reward.
The mare went to the post with a comfortable margin over First Look, who grabbed second ahead of HattonGarden.
"She jumped well but lost her footing. Luckily not too bad and was able to get across into the one-out-one-back position,” Schofield said.
"There was an opportunity to come out and Mr O’Shea said before the race to try and get her rolling so I took the opportunity and she circled the field and was too good.”
Alberton Park On Debut For O'Shea
SYDNEY, Thursday 19 January, 2012 - Former Queenslandgalloper AlbertonParkwill be "highly competitive” when the mare makes her debut for Randwicktrainer John O’Shea in Saturday’s Australian Turf Club Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens.
The daughter of ThornParkhas won five of her 28 starts but has finished runner-up on 11 occasions.
O’Shea described AlbertonParkas a "big mare who is easy to train” and suggested not to read into her relatively low win strike rate when assessing her chances on Saturday.
"Her trials and trackwork are indicative that she’ll be highly competitive first up on Saturday,” O’Shea said.
"I never make my assessment of a horse until I see it work or race under my care."
“Tony Bott heads up the ownership of the mare and he was kind enough to send her to me and hopefully we can repay his patronage as we are very appreciative of his support.”
AlbertonParkfinished fourth behind Rain Affair in a Randwickbarrier trial in December. The five-year-old has since won a Rosehill trial over 900 metres.
The trainer said punters could expect the five-year-old to be in the right spot in Saturday’s race.
"She’ll race on the speed and I would be surprised if she’s not in the finish, as her fitness levels have taken significant improvement since her two trials.” O’Shea added.
Chad Schofield takes the reins for Saturday’s assignment. O’Shea said the "extra 2kg off will only aid her performance,” of making a successful debut for the in-form trainer.
O’Shea will also saddle up runners in the form of Riding To Win, Romanus and Think Mink at Rosehill.
“All three are very fit and at their peak to perform, it is even racing on Saturday and the overall track condition and the way it plays along with barrier draws will be the determining factors as to our success on Saturday.”
“I’m very happy with all our charges on Saturday and look forward to saddling them up.”
Number One Gun Wins Wealthiest Maiden!
GOLD COAST, Saturday 14 January, 2012 -Randwick horseman John O’Shea drew first blood at today’s Magic Millions carnival at the Gold Coast when Number One Gun led all the way to win Australia’s richest Maiden.
Jim "Pumper" Cassidy was at his brilliant best when asserting his dominace right from the jump, taking up the running and controlling the tempo.
Number One Gun kicked away halfway up the straight to land the $100,000 BMW Magic Milllions Maiden Plate (1200m).
The Champion Thoroughbreds gelding was three-quarters of a length clear over Viking Heart and Bolero Dancer 1-1/4 lengths away in third.
A three-year-old son of Mossman, Number One Gun was purchased for $85,000 by Champion Thoroughbreds at the 2010 MM sale.
“He’s not exactly doing things just as we’d like at the moment, but he can certainly gallop,’’ said O’Shea.
Cassidy said he hadn’t originally planned to lead, but the gelding gave a good kick to open up a winning margin in the straight.
“It was a big effort,’’ said Cassidy.
“John told me if I could get him to relax, he’d be very hard to beat and he relaxed well enough today.’’
Number One Gun was lining up for his third race start today and O'Shea reported that he would be turned out for a spell now.
Hoss Amor Buzzing!
GOLD COAST, Thursday 12 January, 2012 – Hoss Amor has created a definite buzz around the Gold Coast and her chances in Saturday's $2 million Magic Millions Classsic on the Gold Coast.
The John O'Shea-trained filly has drawn barrier 11 for the feature and O’Shea believes she is well capable of finishing in the firing line.
“She has done nothing to say that she shouldn’t be in the race on Saturday, she's jumping out of her skin and has not needed racing in the lead up to Saturday, the rest of them can beat themselves up.”
“She performed well on debut and although there may be a question mark on the form she won and showed superior ability.” The Randwick trainer commented.
Hoss Amor was purchased by O’Shea and Champion Thoroughbreds Managing Director Jason Abrahams with view to contesting Saturday’s mammoth first prize.
“The thing about this filly is her attitude which is imperative with two year olds,”
“She has a wonderful demeanor and she is a delight to do anything with, she has made tremendous improvement since the Wyong race and although drawn awkwardly if we can run past both Driefontein & Sizzling then I think she would of done enough to get the desired result.” O’Shea said bluntly.
Five percent is owned by Sky Racing's newshound, Andrew Bensley, who O’Shea says has been “walking the box” in the lead up to the Gold Coast feature.
“Hoss has his work commitments up here obviously and is always on the ball in that area, but we have sensed some nervous times for the big fella this week.” O’Shea jibbed.
Legsman & Pumper Ready To Rumble In The Cup
SYDNEY, Wednesday 11 January, 2012 – The ever tough Legsman can reverse the result in the Gosford Gold Cup (2100 m) tomorrow evening according to Randwick trainer John O’Shea.
O’Shea believes the honest gelding Legsman can turn the tables on his rivals when the bold front running galloper lines up in tomorrow’s $150,000 Listed event.
ABOVE: Tough as old boots, Legsman & Jimmy Cassidy leading from start to finish in the Winter Cup.
Legsman won the Listed Winter Cup over 2400 metres at Rosehill in June.
Leading the field into the straight before scrapping it out with Tullamore up the running.
Tullamore went on to claim the Group II Brisbane Cup and has since finished third in the Group I Caulfield Cup.
The son of Pins had three runs back this campaign before a foot abscess forced him out of the Christmas and Summer Cups.
Legsman returned to finish a game third behind in-form galloper Straight Albert in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2095m) at Warwick Farm on January 2.
Jim “Pumper” Cassidy renewed his association in the Tattersalls Club Cup and kicked clear from the 700 m and it was only inside the last furlong he was reeled in.
"I thought he went really well,” O’Shea said.
"The track never suited him and the inside appeared to be a bit off on the day.”
"Hopefully he can get a fair track at Gosford which the surface will be a bit more forgiving than what he was on the other day.”
O’Shea said the bulldog fighting qualities that Legsman possesses would be at their peak for tomorrow’s assignment.
"He likes to get into a bit of a scrap, he was never able to do that the other day,”
“When he gets in that situation, Jim is the right horseman to have in the saddle as he has a great affinity in the heat of the moment and being able to take the race by the scruff of the neck.” O’Shea enthused.
Kembla Grange Offers The Right Runs Tomorrow
SYDNEY, Tuesday 10 January, 2012 – John O’Shea has been an advocate for the Metropolitan mid week meetings being held at Kembla Grange and this is the case tomorrow.
O’Shea will saddle up to talented youngsters who he believes will both be suited to the big circumference that the Kembla Grange track has to offer.
“Kembla Grange is a beautiful track to race on it provides runners with opportunities and I definitely think young horses derive good benefit from racing on the Kembla surface.”
Runway Runaway will be the first of the Randwick horseman’s runners and the Starcraft mare has had two runs back this time in full of merit.
“She was obviously very impressive first up and then desperately unlucky second up probably was ridden a touch conservative,” he said.
“She is a big striding mare and Jimmy is well aware of her need for galloping room which a rider of his caliber will accommodate for her.”
“I cannot fault her and she is in great order to really be competitive tomorrow.” O’Shea added.
Cantonese will run in prominent Breeder/Owner Gerry Harvey’s colours and he is a horse that delivered touches of ability in his six career starts to date.
“Cantonese is gelded this time in and although he has always been a delight to do anything with, he has proved not to be the most tractable in his racing.”
ABOVE: Cantonese (inside) dives through late with a powerful finish to score on the Kensington track in June.
“We hoped to have ironed that out as he does have nice ability on his day, he is obviously first up and will improve off the run,”
“The beauty of running at Kembla is that it will really suit Cantonese as it will give him time to balance up and really attack the line to have the last crack at them.”
O'Shea Backs Up at the Farm
SYDNEY, Friday 6 January, 2012 - John O'Shea indicated post race Wednesday that he will strike while the iron is hot with Tigress Lily, after her win at Canterbury and this will certainly be the case.
Tigress Lily has been penalised 1½ kilograms for her win midweek but O'Shea believes the Warwick Farm mile will suit tomorrow.
''Now she has a bit of confidence I want to get back to the races quickly,'' O'Shea said.
''The penalty doesn't really worry me because we can offset that with young Chad Schofield's claim.''
“She is in fine fettle and hopefully we can replicate Wednesday’s result.” The Randwick horseman enthused.
ABOVE: John O'Shea is looking for Tigress Lily to fire on a quick back up.
O’Shea signalled his likely best chance being Fille Vilaine on tomorrow’s Warwick Farm card.
“Fille Vilaine has trained on in lovely order and she is up in grade but deserves her chance in there tomorrow,”
“She has a good gate and she will hold her position out of the machines and hopefully can be in striking distance when the whips are cracking.”
“Romanus and Honest Lies are at the top of their game and the expectation is that they will fire tomorrow.”
“I have been desperate to back Riding To Win all preparation and that’s the case tomorrow, his second placing had plenty of merit on Monday as it was his first attempt over ground.” O’Shea added.
O'Shea's Hot Winning Form Continues @ Canterbury Park
SYDNEY, Wednesday 4 January, 2012 - John O’Shea made his intension’s after Sea Siren after the filly easily disposed of her rivals in the Vinery Stud Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury Park this afternoon.
The Sydney autumn carnival beckons for Sea Siren according to the form Randwick trainer.
"She was strong on the line. She’ll have a break and come back for a race like the Light Fingers,” O’Shea said.
"If she performs there we might look at Queensland .” O’Shea said.
Jockey Glyn Schofield had the daughter of Fastnet Rock one off the rail in fourth position after slightly missing the start.
Approaching the 450 metre mark Schofield asked for Sea Siren to improve her position.
Once she was under pressure to maintain her position but after a few strides she hit top gear and began to unwind with a powerful finish to score softly on the line.
"I nearly went straight over the front of her (at the start) but she recovered quickly,” Schofield said.
"Once she gathered herself in, she lengthened well and was never going to be beaten.
"She’s still racing a bit keen, she might have got a bit of a fright after what happened at the start."
Schofield said a step up in grade would prove no obstacle for the three-year-old.
"I think she would cope with the step up to Saturday grade quite comfortably,” he said.
O’Shea said the filly was "looking for further” now and would have a short break before being prepared for the Autumn.
"To be honest I’ve always thought she would be better with the blinkers on,” he said.
"After her short break we might bring her back with them on.”
O’Shea’s afternoon was not finished there as he gave comeback jockey Blake Shinn his first Sydney Metropolitan winner since returning to the saddle aboard Tigress Lily.
It was a very well-timed run by Shinn to win the Flinders Lane Perfect Fit Shirt Handicap over 1900 m.
"It’s great to get a win on the board on my first day back here,” Shinn said.
Shinn paid tribute to O’Shea for giving him the opportunity to ride Tigress Lily, who defeated Zoot Suit and Inscribe.
"John O’Shea has been a good supporter right the way through,” he said.
"When I came back he said he’d give me opportunities. I’ve got to try and make the most of them and give each ride the best possible chance.”
Shinn said the daughter of Snitzel had the perfect run in transit.
"We just went out with an open mind. Today’s race worked out well,” he said.
O’Shea said despite being by noted wet track sire Snitzel, Tigress Lily "goes much better on top of the ground”.
The Duke Salutes With Claim
SYDNEY, Saturday 31 December, 2012 –Randwick conditioner John O'Shea continued his hot winning form at RosehillGardens this afternoon on New Years Eve.
The ever consistent Duke Of Cornwall had the result never in doubt from the beginning of the race when rising apprentice Sam Clipperton made his intention clear electing to roll forward and lead from a wide gate.
O’Shea was the first to congratulate the teenage apprentice after his front-running ride to win on Duke Of Cornwall in the TAB.com.au Handicap over 1200 m.
ABOVE: Duke Of Cornwall cruises to victory this afternoon in the hands of Apprentice Sam Clipperton.
"Well done to Sammy, it was a good ride," O'Shea said.
"He showed initiative to take the lead early and judged the speed perfectly in front."
So So Sure jumped in front early but Clipperton allowed Duke Of Cornwall to slide forward and take up the running after 300m.
Clipperton, 17, was then able to slow the tempo, turning the race into a sprint home.
Duke Of Cornwall was able to run his last 600m in sub 34 seconds which had him in the box seat to claim the prize as his rivals would not be able to run him down.
"I tried to nurse him for as long as I could," Clipperton said.
"I didn't want to press the button too early but when I did he kicked strongly."
Duke Of Cornwall pinched a break on his rivals at the top of the straight and held at off Key West to score by 1 1/4 lengths with Maules Creek in third.
Duke Of Cornwall, a conspicuous grey, improved his record to three wins (and five placings) from just nine starts with O'Shea hopeful of finding another suitable race for the gelding in coming weeks.
Foxwedge Set For Biggest Prep Yet
SYDNEY, Thursday 29 December, 2011 - John O’Shea’s high class sprinting three-year-old Foxwedge is hoped the colt will springboard towards international success later in the year.
O’Shea plans to trial Foxwedge before the end of January and he has the two major Group I Flemington sprints in February and March on the son of Fastnet Rock’s agenda.
ABOVE: Talented 3YO Sprinter Foxwedge & regular rider Nash Rawiller will tackle the top grade.
"He’s in great order and about a month away from a trial. I couldn’t be happier with him,” O’Shea said.
"He’s made really good progress since the Coolmore.”
"He’ll run in the Lightning and the Newmarket.”
"They look nice races for him and he’s proven down the straight.”
Foxwedge showed a liking for straight track racing when pushing champion colt Sepoy to the limit in the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby day in October.
An invite for Foxwedge to compete at the Royal Ascot carnival in June could mean the classy colt bypasses his home carnival in Sydney in the autumn.
Both the King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) and the Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m) are run down the Ascot straight course during the Royal meeting which runs from June 19 to 23.
"If he is to perform well at Flemington that will nearly do it before we go overseas,” O’Shea said.
"Depending upon what happens and his performance, he has been invited to go to England.”
Lightinthenite Ready For Villiers Assault
SYDNEY, Tuesday 13 December, 2011 - Randwick trainer John O’Shea believes Lightinthenite has things made to order for a crack in Saturday’s $200,000 Group II Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
The talented son of Galileo has progressed well during his current campaign which started with victory in a Benchmark 70 event before he finished second at his most recent run behind Monton in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on December 3.
"Take out the one run this preparation where Christian [Reith] rode him up too close the rest of his runs have been really good,” O’Shea said.
"With age and maturity we’ve been able to get a bit of work into him this time and he’s handled it well.”
Lightinthenite's profile fits that of a Villiers Stakes winner.
The last nine winners of the race either won their previous start or finished within a length from the winner and since 1993 only one winner of the feature summer mile has carried more than 54.5kg.
Lightinthenite finished a half-length behind Monton in the Festival Stakes and on Saturday he’ll carry 52kg.
"I’m really happy with him. He did his main piece of work in good style this morning and he’s fit and well,” O’Shea said.
"He’s well treated at the weights. He’s a progressive horse that doesn’t have a lot of convictions that some of his competitors have.
"There looks genuine speed and the sting out of the track won’t hurt either.”
Up A Level For Lightinthenite
SYDNEY, Friday 2 December, 2011 – Form Randwick conditioner John O’Shea concurs with the early markets when assessing the form of tomorrow’s Festival Stakes (1500 m) at RosehillGardens.
O'Shea's stable runners have been a constant in the winners stall over the last month and the trainer's voice was brim full of confidence when quizzed on feature race favourite Lightinthenite.
"We are very pleased with him, as he has continued to make good continual progress since his last run and this looks to be a nice race for us to test him at stakes level," he said.
ABOVE: Filly with talent, Miss Marx resumes tomorrow at Rosehill Gardens.
Lightinthenite was installed early 4 to 1 favourite elect for the Festival Stakes which O’Shea mentioned had some validity.
"Having a look at the form I don't think he comes in too badly at the weights,"
"His last run was very pleasing but I thought his third-up run was very good, we just had to absolve a few sins there really, that is probably the best way to put it.”
"He wasn't ridden the best but still performed strongly."
O'Shea noted the significant drop in the weights for rival Circle Of Power and felt he would challenge as a serious danger.
"If you're doing your form it is the horse that gets in nicely," he said. "We meet it worse at the weights but obviously our horse is on the way up.”
"The difference between us and Rod Craig's horse is that he has had 28 starts for four wins and our horse has had six starts for four wins. You could say that he has had less convictions, I think that is why there is a difference in the market."
O'Shea always has an impeccable two year old record and that has been the case at the start of the current season, producing two impressive juveniles in Faustus and Don't Blink and he feels Brave Soul has the potential to uphold the stable's recent run of form tomorrow.
Brave Soul is a younger half sister to O’Shea former two year old flyer Solar Charged, but he quickly says that is where the similarities stop.
"She has got the ability but certainly not the same brilliance as her sister," he said.
"She is much more relaxed, Solar Charged wanted to do everything very quickly. This filly will be take a sit and hit the line strongly."
Further to O’Shea’s day is two top chances in Miss Marx and Honest Lies.
“I am most happy with both of them, Honest Lies will be ridden in a similar manner to his excellent first up effort and hopefully track conditions allows him to fight the finish out in a very tough race,”
“Miss Marx is bombproof and a filly with talent and an undeniable record, we are experimenting with the blinkers tomorrow for further down the track in her career and along with the services of Nash she will be competitive.”
Don't Blink O'Shea Continues Hot Winning Form
SYDNEY, Saturday 26 November, 2011 –A miracle in itself that racing got underway this afternoon at Canterbury Park with the disgraceful inclement weather throughout the week right up until mid morning today.
By the first race the sunshine came through the cloud cover and shone radiantly and so did John O’Shea’s two year old filly Don’t Blink.
ABOVE: Arm chair ride, Christian Reith guides 2YO first starter Don't Blink to victory.
On debut the Redoute’s Choice filly justified her short quote (SP $1.60) in the Australian Turf Club Handicap over 1100 m.
Nash Rawiller who trialled Don't Blink was unable to ride due to the filly being handicapped too light a weight, and Christian Reith handled the reins and took control of his three opponents from the barriers and did not relinquish the lead, giving Don’t Blink’s supporters no cause for any concern.
The second horse Diamond Start settled a half-length off Don't Blink throughout and poured pressure on the favourite, but Don’t Blink was far too smart and got to the line comfortably by a length with a further eight lengths back to third placegetter.
Adding merit to the performance was the overall time 1.06.64 on the Heavy 10 with the final 600m in 35.90.
Don't Blink is a home bred by former AJC chairman Ron Finemore and his friend John Leaver purchased a share in the filly.
“If they are entitled to be a $1.60 favourite they have to be ridden accordingly and we did not want to try and over complicate things which was the end result, and a pleasing one at that,” said O'Shea.
“Ron and John have shown a great deal of patience and they have been tremendous owners and when hopefully the fruits bear in the Autumn, they deserve all of it."
"They have some lovely horses coming through to the autumn. We have held them back from the spring and hopefully it will pay dividends in the autumn,”
O'Shea said that Don't Blink would now spell and be brought back for a Sydney Carnival campaign.
“We will try and get some black type early with her and then try and head towards the Slipper.”
“The Silver Slipper is the sort of race that I think she will be very competitive in, and depending on her performances we will try and give her one run into the Slipper,” O’Shea added.
Legsman Getting Ready To Fire
SYDNEY, Friday 25 November, 2011 – Form Randwick conditioner John O'Shea hopes too continue his purple patch of winning form when heading to CanterburyPark tomorrow.
He landed a treble at Rosehill a fortnight ago via Faustus, Colorado Claire and Lightinthenite before producing Hendricus for a last gasp victory at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
ABOVE: Legsman is starting to warm to task as he comes to a peak in his preparation.
"It's been good. I've worked very hard to acquire nice horses over the past couple of years and been very patient with them," O'Shea said.
"It's starting to pay some dividends."
O’Shea’s team is headed by Legsman who will contest the Frank Underwood Cup (Listed) over 1900 m.
“He’s nearly hitting a peak as his main goals are the Christmas and Summer Cup/s."
"He comes in very well at the weights, with the 54.5 kg" O'Shea said.
"Due to the congestion I think it will be very difficult for the horses on the minimum.”
"His record is good at Canterbury. I'd probably like to have seen him draw out more but his gate speed is quite good."
Legsman has been placed on heavy going and his superior form is on the slow tracks, highlighted by his victory over Group winner Tullamore in the Winter Cup in June.
O'Shea's other runners include unraced youngster Don't Blink, a half-sister to 2006 Maribyrnong Plate winner Husson Lightning.
The Redoute's Choice filly has won her only two barrier trials and O'Shea says she is a ready-made juvenile.
"She's a classic sort of two-year-old," he said. "She is very genuine and she's a jump-and-run horse."
Tigress Lily will also fly the stable's flag in the Canterbury BMW-Driving Strong Relationships Handicap (1550m).
“The current state of the track means we will probably leave her at home as she doesn’t appreciate the Heavy going.”
She has been unplaced in three runs from a spell but O'Shea predicts an improved showing.
"She was interfered with last start at Canterbury and nearly fell at the 600," O'Shea said.
“Its imperative that her next day out at the races is a performance on that will put her back in vogue,"
“We will probably hold her over until the Wednesday at Canterbury.”
Hendricus Peaks For Bonus
SYDNEY, Saturday 19 November, 2011 - The John O’Shea-trained Hendricus achieved the goal of his preparation this afternoon when he scored an impressive win in the Inglis Bonus Mile (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
O’Shea selected Hendricus from the second session of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and secured the half-brother to former stable mate, Warpath, for $62,500.
ABOVE: Hendricus & Nash Rawiller in full flight.
In just his seventh career start, Hendricus took his career earnings to date to more than $267,000. Hendricus took home a $50,000 bonus when winning the Inglis Bonus 2YO Handicap during the Wagga Gold Cup carnival in May then added a further $100,000 with his dominant victory this afternoon..
"I’ll go anywhere for a quid, I’ve got four kids to feed,” O’Shea said.
Super hoop Nash Rawiller from the gate was forced to take hold of Hendricus and settle towards the tail of the field. The big field enabled the race to unfold with genuine tempo.
At the point of the turn Rawiller still had the 14 runners ahead of him but as he was at his sublime best when easing Hendricus to the outside and never stalling his momentum which enabled the son of Mossman too power past all rivals to salute in stylish fashion.
"The horse would have been something beat if he didn’t get up, I tell you that,” Rawiller said. "The horses I was following into it weren’t taking me into it quick enough.”
"I just had to bide my time turning for home and I really wanted to get him to the outside to get stuck into him and when I did he did the rest. It was a good effort.”
“Its well done too the ownership group and a tremendous credit to John and his staff for the manner in which this colt was presented at the races today.”
O’Shea also had pre post favourite in the race Colorado Claire who the Randwick conditioner was also most pleased with.
“A filly that is one to follow her effort was extremely good today to do what she did and still be in the finish is a nice sign of what she has to offer in life.”
O’Shea said both horses will have a little let up now and have some targets in the autumn.
"Both of them are eligible for the Inglis Guineas at Scone and it’s just a matter of how we get there.”
Impressive Gardens Hatrick for O'Shea
SYDNEY, Saturday 12 November, 2011 - It was an outstanding afternoon for John O’Shea this afternoon at RosehillGardens, traiing three winners on the card.
The opening two races went the way of O’Shea and also later in the afternoon combining in all three victories with Grand Slam winning hoop Jim ‘Pumper’ Cassidy.
Hulking two year old colt Faustus, called on all of his reserves on debiut to prove victorious in the Nova 969 Fitzy & Wippa Handicap over 1100 m.
ABOVE: Ripping type, Faustus proves impressive on debut and id tipped for bigger things in store.
Faustus is beautifully bred being a colt by champion sire More Than Ready out of Danehill mare Living Hell.
Faustus was quickly into stride and moved forward to take hold his position on the rail eventually traveling in the box seat.
Entering the straight race favourite Kuchinskaya and Faustus kicked strongly to settle down and fight the race out with Faustus doing the better over the concluding stages to do the better in a performance that had plenty of merit.
"He has a beautiful action and now he has 40 grand in the bank,” O’Shea said.
"That will be it for this time in and we will bring him back for a race like the Skyline in autumn. I think he is going to make a really nice two-year-old in time.”
Cassidy made his return at Canterbury on Friday night after a rib injury saw him stood down last week after riding the first winner at Randwick. The champion rider believes Faustus has plenty of upside.
"Very nice horse,” Cassidy said.
"John said he was a bit new, which he was but he got it done,”
"There is unbelievable improvement left in him.”Cassidy added.
Watching the second race was like a replay of the first race when O’Shea & Cassidy scored a race-to-race double with super talented filly Colorado Claire in the Bacardi Handicap (1400m).
Like the duos first winner Faustus, Colorado Claire settled handy this time outside the lead before powering away in the straight to record an ultra impressive win.
Colorado Claire continued her undefeated career, she has progressed from Goulburn via Kembla before her city success this afternoon.
"She's got a lovely action, a nice gait and she's doing a really good job,” O’Shea said.
"She's really looking for the mile. The other thing about her is today we got the opportunity to take a little sit on her.”
"She's been stargazing a little bit early in her races but having something to follow up the running did her the world of good.”
Sindarin had no excuses, leading before being shrugged off by the winner before the 200 m mark in the straight.
O’Shea said he’d monitor Colorado Claire over the next few days with a view to backing her up at Warwick Farm next Saturday for a race that carries a $100,000 bonus.
"There's an opportunity to run her next week in a mile race, an Inglis bonus race, so we'll just see how she pulls up and if she does well we'll probably give her the opportunity to run there,” he said.
O’Shea & Cassidy finally linked to claim the Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Moscato Handicap (1500m) with Lightinthenite.
The son of Galileo had no luck at his previous start when third behind Riva De Lago but the roles were reversed.
Cassidy had Lightinthenite up within striking distance before pouncing on the lead at the top of the straight.
Lightinthenite moved up and took over but it wasn’t over with Circle Of Power and Riva De Lago staking their claims late but Lightinthenite was super tough and continued his strong run right through the line.
Faustus To Press 2YO Autumn Claims at the Gardens
SYDNEY, Friday 11 November, 2011 – When gauging a quality two year old, Randwick conditioner John O’Shea comments are always worth noting.
O’Shea has featured with two year olds' out of the very top draw over the past few seasons and they have all been in the reckoning at the right time of year, the Sydney Autumn.
“We never have overly a lot of two year old runners,”
“What we do is identify each year what are the types we have selected that will cope with the rigours of two year old racing without hopefully sacrificing the ability of the horse too train on at three,”
“I think we have done it to a degree of success without winning the Golden Slipper, each year we are learning.” O’Shea said.
O’Shea’s comments prove relative when he was quizzed on first starter Faustus tomorrow at RosehillGardens.
“He is a lovely big, strong colt with nice ability by More Than Ready,”
"He has trialled well and he has improved significantly since trialling, usually a horse of this profile I would trial twice but I want to run him and get him in the paddock.”
Reasoning for the paddock;
“We will get a better idea tomorrow, but he’s a colt we will give an opportunity to shape up in the Autumn.”
“He will roll forward from a good gate and should get an opportunity to really attack the line and hopefully greenness does not cost him too much.”
The Randwick horseman has a large team in tomorrow at the Gardens, all charges with claims in their respective races.
“Yea, we have been a bit quiet on the runners front but tomorrow we have a good representation and all are fit healthy and we have confidence in them that they will run well.” O’Shea explained.
Colorado Claire is undefeated in two starts but gets her first crack at Metropolitan grade tomorrow.
“A lovely filly making all the right progressive steps, although her opposition will be tougher tomorrow this is a stepping stone for when she is up to a mile which when she will be at her best.”
O'Shea warned Legsman will run tomorrow and he has bigger assignments in store starting in a fortnight in the Frank Underwood Cup.
Hendricus faces the older horses tomorrow and he will likely back up next week in the Inglis Bonus 3YO 1600 m at Warwick Farm and O’Shea also mentioned Lightinthenite was well back on track.
“Lightinthenite is right at the top of his game tomorrow and meets the winner of his last start better at the weights,”
“What will hinge on Lightinthenite’s performance is the track condition and the way it is playing.”
“He is a horse that needs to let be comfortable with cover over the early stages and then let attack the line,”
“If ground can be made up then I think he will have his claim at fighting out the finish.” O’Shea added.
CHAMPION THOROUGHBREDS OPEN DAY
SYDNEY, Wednesday 9 November, 2011 – Champion Thoroughbreds will be again have one of it’s regular Open Days this Sunday 13th NOvember.
The Day is an ‘Open Invite’ for all to gather at John O’Shea’s Randwick stables, commencing at .
The day is a very good opportunity to see how horse’s make progress inside the stable and the chance chat to John or Jason Abrahams (Champion Thoroughbreds Director).
John O’Shea Racing Stables
28 High Street
For any inquiries please feel free to contact Belinda at Champion Thoroughbreds (02) 9436 0795.
The Grandstand Finish That Is Bound To Blush
SYDNEY, Friday 4 November, 2011 – Being dubbed as “A Grandstand Finish” is tomorrow’s final race meeting at Royal Randwick before the redevelopment of the facility gets underway, John O’Shea will have just the sole runner for the meeting.
“I’m really happy with her overall condition and she has had a wonderful lead up into tomorrow’s race,”
“She is third up and seems to have taken a good deal of improvement since she was last at the races.” O’Shea said.
Bound To Blush had a debut win at Goulburn for the Gai Waterhouse stable before being transferred into O’Shea’s care.
O’Shea gave the 3YO Strategic filly a soft trial win before recording a convincing Class 1 victory against older horses at Hawkesbury (1200 m), Thursday 20th October.
“She is a lovely kind, genuine filly who has been an absolute delight since arriving.”
“She had a strong piece of work here on the Randwick course proper on Tuesday morning which seems to have brought her right up to the mark.”
“It’s a nice race for her and an opportunity for her to try her ability in Saturday Metropolitan grade.”
Race tactics as always O’Shea says he keeps simple, especially with Grand Slam winning hoop Jim “pumper” Cassidy engaged in the saddle.
“Jim has good handle on her, and obviously so far she has raced up on the speed and the race on paper tomorrow appears as though that will be the case again,”
“I would imagine we may end up outside the lead but we won’t over complicate things as we have the best front running rider onboard.” O’Shea added.
Chances A Many on Cup Day!
MELBOURNE, Monday 31 October, 2011 – John O’Shea is struggling to come to terms with his agonising narrow defeat with his class colt Foxwedge, in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington, but he is confident in gaining some solice from Saturday’s harrowing result when he saddles up Princess Layla tomorrow on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington.
Princess Layla is a lightly raced Fastnet Rock filly who contests the Lexus Hybrid Plate over 1400 m, she created an impression first up when bolting in at Gosford by six lengths before running a very narrow second on the Kensington track in Sydney.
“She has settled into Melbourne problem free,” O’Shea said.
“This is the race we brought her down for and with the good gate and services of Darren (Beadman), that bodes well for her in what looks a tough little race.”
“We are never under any illusions to the task at hand, especially at this time of year.”
“Princess Layla has had a great preparation and we really look forward to trying to grab some black type with her tomorrow.”
At Headquarters (Royal Randwick) in Sydney O’Shea says his chances are strong in what is always a very competitive day.
“Rule Number One is racing with great consistency and is right at the top of his game ready to run a strong 1600 m,”
“Maybe he is a slight query at the 1600 m but he is in great form and we are giving him the opportunity, as it may open further options for him in the future.”
“He is in grand order.” O’Shea added.
North Pole Dancer will have her second race day outing at Randwick tomorrow and O’Shea is equally as happy with the 4YO Anabaa mare.
“She was unlucky not to have won on debut, however going forward she has made dramatic improvement and she will really appreciate the big open spaces of Randwick,”
“I expect her to get a kind run in transit and really attack the line late.” He said.
King Brown will be O’Shea’s other runner, who he warns needs to deliver tomorrow.
“We have delved into the bag of tricks and need King Brown to give us something tomorrow, he condition cannot be faulted and his work continues to be top class, so there will be no excuses.”
Tough Group 1 Task Awaits Foxwedge
MELBOURNE, Wednesday 26 October, 2011 - Trainer John O'Shea has left no stone unturned in preparing his class young sprinter Foxwedge for his rematch with Sepoy in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200 m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Foxwedge has had the blinkers applied and he has come throughout his straight course jumpout in grand order according to the Randwick conditioner.
ABOVE: D Day, Foxwedge & Nash Rawiller in full flight, they contest the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
"This is the race we have been building towards the whole preparation,"
"He travelled to Melbourne last week and has settled in as good as we could hope."
The son of Fastnet Rock has not worn blinkers in any of his starts this season.
"I've always had the opinion that he would be better down the straight,” O'Shea said.
“He worked up the straight in the hood yesterday morning it was nice hitout, especially when he was asked to quicken up to the line.”
Foxwedge has drawn six in the ten horse field that will contest the Flemington straight course.
Sepoy has dominated Melbourne opposition in his four wins this season but meets a deeper field
Melbourne wins by Sepoy, Helmet, Manawanui, Karuta Queen and Satin Shoes have justified the Sydney three-year-old age group formline this spring, which bodes well in Foxwedge’e favour come Saturday.
Foxwedge won the San Domenico Stakes (1100m) first-up this preparation followed by a third to Manawanui in the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill before losing that placing to Helmet on protest.
Foxwedge then came back to 1200m at Randwick on October 1 to win the Roman Consul Stakes and set himself up for a crack at the Coolmore Stakes.
Regular rider Nash Rawiller will be in the saddle on Saturday and confirmed how well Foxwedge appears to going.
“He felt great Saturday morning and then again yesterday morning,”
“I can’t wait for Saturday, as I think he will excel racing up the straight.” Sydney’s champion hoop commented.
Progression of a Princess
SYDNEY, Monday 17 September, 2011 – Impressive fisrt start winner Princess Layla will return to the racetrack second up at midweek Metropolitan meeting at Royal Randwick on the Kensington track.
The daughter of super stallion Fastnet Rock romped home by three lengths on debut at Gosford on 6th October and takes a step up to Metropolitan grade on Wednesday.
“She has trained on in terrific order and we are really happy with her overall condition.” Trainer John O’Shea quipped.
Princess Layla jumped straight on the bunny at Gosford in what appeared to be a mere track gallop exercise for her.
“She is still very ill seasoned but that’s the same with all 3YO’s at this time of year,”
“It is also a race that looks to have some depth, so we are under no illusions as the step up it is going to be for our filly,”
“But she has done everything asked of her and will be better for the run come Wednesday.” O’Shea added.
Princess Layla will be ridden by form grand slam winning hoop Jim Cassidy.
Stable Winning Way To Continue Form
SYDNEY, Friday 7 October, 2011 – “Things are ticking over alrite,” Randwick horseman John O’Shea quipped when asked of his winning run that has netted his stable three runners in the winning enclosure this week.
O’Shea will saddle up the most promising horse of his stable tomorrow afternoon at Rosehill Gardens when Lightinthenite tackles the Wn Bull Funerals (Bm80) event over 1300 m.
“I’m happy with the manner in which he has done since his first up run.”
“It won’t be easy for him making the transition to Saturday grade but he looks to have made good improvement and ready for tomorrow’s task.” O’Shea remarked.
O’Shea is resisting any such temptation in taking the exciting son of Galileo south for the Melbourne riches and insisted he would stay here in Sydney.
“This horse is still a restricted class galloper and we will just be keeping him to his grade and tomorrow’s result will depend on track condition and the way it is playing throughout the day,” he said.
“He looks to have drawn ideally where Christian should secure a smother in the run and then be able to pull to the centre of the track once the whips are cracking.”
The ever consistent Legsman will be first up for O’Shea also tomorrow at the Gardens and is in for a big preparation ahead.
ABOVE: Grand Stage galloper Legsman resumes tomorrow afternoon at the Gardens.
“Legsman is first up tomorrow in a field that is significantly stronger than he has met first up before,”
“He has drawn soft and races in a forward position to lay a good foundation going forward once we get over trip as he be geared toward the Christmas and Summer Cups’”
“I couldn’t be happier with the way he has come back and how he is going, all connections are very excited about his preparation ahead.” O’Shea added.
Foxwedge Wins Roman Consul Stakes
SYDNEY, Saturday 1 October, 2011 - Top class 3YO colt Foxwedge added another feature race win to his resume when victorious in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon.
ABOVE: Class Act, Foxwedge proves too good in the Roman Consul Stakes.
Foxwedge's trainer John O’Shea said the son of Fastnet Rock would now head to Melbourne for an attempt at an illustrious Group 1 where he will run in the Coolmore Stud Stakes down the Flemington straight over 1200 m.
Premier jockey Nash Rawiller was back aboard Foxwedge, with Rawiller asserting dominance from the get go when the colt took up the running to bounce straight to the lead.
Foxwedge kicked away inside the 300 metres before fighting off a spirited late challenge from the Victorian Masthead.
"He wants to be a racehorse he’s a very genuine fella and it’s a pleasure to have him,” O’Shea said.
"When he got to the front you could see him stargazing.
"In fairness to him he’s probably a better chaser.”
Rawiller described the win as "tradesmanlike” and said Foxwedge’s wandering mind over the final stages had him concerned.
"He’s all class this colt, I knew when they came at me he’d find.”
“He thought the job was done over the final stages before we had crossed the line,”
“Job done and he was too good.”
O’Shea said Foxwedge shouldn’t have the same problem when in Melbourne in the Group I Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 29.
"I don’t think he’ll have that problem when we get him to Flemington, there will be something to chase for sure,” O’Shea commented.
Rawiller Reunites With Foxwedge
SYDNEY, Thursday 29 September, 2011 - Talented colt Foxwedge can aquit himself well enough to feature back in the winner's circle in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200 m) on Saturday at Royal Randwick according to top Randwick conditioner John O’Shea.
ABOVE: Reunited, premier jockey Nash Rawiller and Foxwedge.
Foxwedge, was a decisive victor first up this preparation in the San Domenico Stakes, next he was narrowly defeated in the Run To The Rose followed by being third across the line in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) field on September 10 before losing that placing to Helmet on protest.
Golden Rose winner Manawanui and also Helmet have shown the race's form reference, with Manawanui winning the Stan Fox Stakes last weekend with Helmet bolting in at Caulfield, in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude in Melbourne.
Foxwedge has been given three weeks since the Golden Rose and drops back to 1200 m at Randwick which O'Shea says is favourable.
Regular rider, 'super hoop' Nash Rawiller, who was suspended for Foxwedge's past two starts, reunites with the son of Fastnet Rock in the Roman Consul where he will jump from barrier 2.
"The horses that have come out of the Golden Rose have raced well, there's been a couple of winners out of the race already," O'Shea said.
"The three weeks between runs has done him the world of good, he's coming to a peak and is hard fit at the top of his game.”
"Nash has a lot of time for this colt and gets on with him particularly well having a good record on him."
O'Shea said things didn't pan out as expected in the Golden Rose when Glyn Schofield took the initiative shortly after the start and went forward on eventual winner Manawanui.
"His performance in the Golden Rose was creditable but it probably didn't quite pan out as we expected," O'Shea said.
"We probably could have been a bit more aggressive on him."
“He strips in great order and puts himself there in the run and Nash won’t miss him so we expect him to be right there when the whips are cracking.” O’Shea added.
Big Time Explosion in Dulcify
SYDNEY, Saturday 24 September, 2011 - Trainer John O'Shea unleashed promising galloper Big Time this afternoon when he led throughout to win the $100,000 Listed Milton Meats Dulcify Handicap (1900m) at RosehillGardens.
Big Time won at Warwick Farm six days earlier and O’Shea believed the Danewin gelding would improve benefit from a quick back up.
ABOVE: Bold galloper Big Time was dominant in the Dulcify Handicap this afternoon.
Now is the option of running in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000 m) on Super Saturday at Royal Randwick in seven days time.
“I'll have to talk to the team about another seven day back-up but I have to say the racing doesn't seem to be hurting him,” O'Shea said.
A $220,000 Inglis Easter Yearling purchase, ironically Big Time's sire Danewin claimed the Dulicify-Spring Champion double and after Saturday's efforts a r
Ridden by the inform Christian Reith, Big Time jumped well from a wide draw and was quick to take up the running, and appreciated the galloping room out in front.
Reith let the big striding three-year-old roll along and continued to dictate and increase the tempo slowly from the 700 m and as the field approached the turn Big Time was full of running and after straightening the result was beyond doubt.
Big Time had opened up a five length advantage inside the final furlong and Reith eased him down over the line to score by three and a quarter lengths.
Stablemate Quackquack, aside from the winner was the run of the race when off a moderate tempo she came from last and powered to the line in second position.
“He is only a spring three-year-old so he is not too slow to mature, it’s encouraging going forward that he has been able to achieve this off his first racing preparation.”
“He is a horse we have had a nice opinion of his since his purchase, we have just brought him along steadily and as soon as he got up to distances that suited him he has been effective.” O’Shea highlighted.
“He is a big gross horse, so at this time of year we don't like to hammer them on the tracks, we try and race them into condition.”
“I have always had an opinion of this horse, from day one, since I first rode him at the track,” Reith said.
“He is a big baby still, a bit raw but an absolute gentleman to ride and the longer we go the better he is going to get.”
“He has a big stride and he is just like driving a Rolls Royce, he just glides.”
“Backing-up is a question for John, I can only ride the horse and see how he feels, and he felt great today.”
Big Time highlighted a successful weekend for O’Shea when arguably one of the most exciting horses in Sydney stepped out on Friday night.
Lightinthenite was all class first up at CanterburyPark under lights and displayed his galloping prowess when he was dominant the in Benchmark 70 1250 m event.
“This is the type of horse that keeps us going and we do it for,” Super hoop Nash Rawiller made comment post race.
“John has been patient and the horse has been expertly handled, I’m sure he will find a nice race for him down the track.”
Dulcify Would Bring Delight
SYDNEY, Friday 23 September, 2011 – John O’Shea would be nothing short of delighted should Big Time or Quackquack score an extremely valuable victory in the Dulcify Handicap tomorrow at RosehillGardens.
“They are both expensive Easter yearlings with lovely pedigrees,” he said.
“Big Time is a horse that we have always had an opinion of.”
“He is a big, tough galloper and while the transition from a restricted race to stakes company we are not taking lightly, I know he won’t have any trouble running out a strong 1900 m.” O’Shea commented.
“Quackquack is also crying out for the trip. I know she got beat in a maiden at Kembla last start but it was against older horses and she is much better suited back to her own age and up in distance.”
O’Shea will also saddle up new stable acquisition DeerValley.
ABOVE: Class mare Deer Valley runs fresh up for new conditioner John O'Shea tomorrow.
“DeerValley was purchased by Segenhoe Group, Kevin Maloney and his racing manager Billy Mitchell, and we were entrusted with the care of her going forward,”
“She is an absolute delight to train and we are very happy with the way in which she is going,”
“She trialled exceptionally well and she is right up to the mark fitness wise heading into Saturday.” A confident O’Shea said.
Keeping the Resumption in Perfect Order
SYDNEY, Wednesday 14 September, 2011 – Champion Thoroughbreds had a whale of a day at Wyong Cup Carnival twelve days ago and are looking to repeat that this afternoon at Newcastle Cup Carnival.
Perfect Hussey resumed after a long lay off with talented win first up at Wyong and trainer John O’Shea says she can repeat such a performance today.
“Perfect Hussey has taken enormous improvement from her win first up the other day and there is no doubting she goes into today’s event going along better than she was first up.” O’Shea said.
“We learnt a couple of things about her the other day and having drawn a horrendous barrier we will be forced to ride her in the same manner,”
O’Shea was very cautious about the daughter of Hussonet’s winning chances.
“The obstacle for Perfect Hussey today will be the pattern of the day and the way the track palys.”
“Traditionally on this day every year it is advantageous to be leading or right on the speed, from the gate we will be forced to go back.” O’Shea warned.
Allofacertainty will be the Randwick trainers other runner for the carnival and he is primed for the day.
“He is only a moderate conveyance but he couldn’t be going any better this horse, and he will roll forward and hopefully dictate terms and appreciate the tempo of the 1500 m,”
“To have him fight the finish out as he is very fit and done well at home.”
New Aquisition For O'Shea
SYDNEY, Tuesday 6 September, 2011 - Also on other John O’Shea news, Group 3 winning-mare DeerValley has had a stable change and joined the Randwick team of O'Shea.
The mare defeated multiple Group I winner Melito in the Group 3 Silver Shadow Stakes before finishing fifth to More Joyous in the Group I Flight Stakes.
The daughter of Lonhro was recently purchased by new owners and moved to Randwick.
"She was purchased by the Segenhoe Group and they were kind enough to give me the mare to train, which I am very thankful for.” O'Shea said.
The Randwick horseman said he was unsure where the stakes-winning galloper would kick off her campaign but expected to learn more about her next week.
"She'll trial on Tuesday, she's a very nice mare who looks well and did her first piece of fast work this morning and looked good in doing so.”
Primed For Group 1 Assault
SYDNEY, Tuesday 6 September, 2011 – Champion Kiwi hoop James McDonald is full of excitement after putting talented colt Foxwedge through his final paces this morning at Randwick ahead of the Group 1 Golden Rose on Saturday at RosehillGardens.
Foxwedge galloped with a partner this morning on the Kensington grass and was given a solid hit out impressing his race day rider McDonald.
ABOVE: Glamour colt Foxwedge is tuned for an attack on the Group 1 Golden Rose on Saturday.
“I have been lucky enough to gallop him before each of his races this preparation and he has nothing but continually improved over the course of his preparation, he’s a colt with serious ability.” McDonald said
McDonald was happy with the feel the son of Fastnet Rock gave him and believes he can shake the Group 1 major on Saturday.
“He really found the line sharply this morning,”
“John has him trained to the minute and I’m confident we can have our share of luck on Saturday in the Rose and be right in the mix.” McDonald commented.
“I just can’t wait for Saturday now, I am very grateful to John & Dr Bateman for the opportunity.”
O’Shea was equally as pleased with the work and said there would be no excuses come Saturday.
“Our colt is fit and right at the top of his game and he has had a lovely preparation that has been laid,”
“His work was right out of the top draw this morning, which it will need be,”
“He is third up into a Group 1, I like that profile.” O’Shea added.
John O’Shea will saddle one other runner on Saturday Premier Meeting with speedy Solar Charged contesting the Sheraco Stakes.
“Solar Charged is very well and was excellent in her work on Saturday morning,”
“She performs well fresh and is up to the mark for Saturday so we expect a forward showing.”
McDonald has also been engaged for the daughter of Charge Forward on Saturday.
O'Shea's Winning Treble @ Wyong Carnival
SYDNEY, Friday 2 September, 2011 - Randwick trainer John O'Shea took the training honours on Wyong Cup day with a winning treble.
O'Shea took five horses to Wyong and all five earned a prize money cheque with his other two runners finishing fourth.
O'Shea won the Guardian Safety Solutions Maiden (1200m) with Perfect Hussey courtesy of a brilliant ride from Christian Reith; the Wyong Rugby League Club Maiden (1200m) with first starter Showpony Express which was aided by a heady ride from kiwi star hoop James McDonald,and the Sky Racing Class Two (1200m) with She's Number One to give Reith a double for the day.
She's Number One is part of a unique ownership system between the Champions Thoroughbred Syndicate and the TAB's Number One Club.
The syndicate has a large number of members.
“Every time one of our horses races five members of the TAB syndicate become owners for the day,” manager Jason Abrahams, said.
“They share in prize money, trophies and any other bonuses.
“The five selected owners are notified by phone a couple of days before hand. It could be a maiden or it could be a group horse.”
O'Shea could not wait to congratulate Reith for his ride on Perfect Hussey.
He took the mare along the rail to grab the lead at the 50 metres and win by a length.
“I told Christian I thought the best going was away from the rail but he knew best and proved me wrong,” O'Shea said.
“That was a brilliant ride.”
Furious Falls Going Forward
SYDNEY, Wednesday 31 August, 2011 –Randwick conditioner John O’Shea expects sharp improvement from his Golden Slipper placegetter EliteFalls this Saturday in the Group 2 Furious Stakes at Warwick Farm.
LEFT: Trainer John O'Shea
expects further improvement
to come from one of last
seasons star juveniles, Elite
O'Shea mentions that rival filly Anise is the horse to beat.
Anise coming off a flashing red light second placing behind the O’Shea trained Foxwedge in the San Domenico Stakes on August 13.
The Randwick horseman is of the strong opinion that the superior form line is through the 3YO Sydney colts and with Anise dropping back to Fillies grade in the Furious makes her top elect.
"Maybe the form line coming into the race is that of Anise," O'Shea said.
"I'm an advocate that the colts are far superior to the fillies and I think that was shown a bit last weekend down in Melbourne when the horse of Peter Moody's (Golden Archer) won easily.”
"He beat a good bunch of fillies.”
"So Anise to me is the obvious horse to beat in the Furious on Saturday."
EliteFalls was one of the standout two-year-old fillies last season, winning the Reisling Stakes and finishing third in the Golden Slipper.
The daughter of More Than Ready returned in the Silver Shadow Stakes and finished fifth on a heavy track at Warwick Farm.
"I’m happy with the manner in which she has done and she will appreciate having had that run and getting what will hopefully be a firmer surface on Saturday,"
"She gets through the wet ground but not when she's not fit." O’Shea lamented.
O'Shea said EliteFalls did enough first-up and expects a good performance on the weekend in the second race of the four-leg Princess Series for #YO Fillies.
"She's going to improve a lot and probably one more run will top her off for where she needs to be,"
"She'll hopefully get back in the game on Saturday and that will lay a good foundation for the Tea Rose at her next start." O'Shea added.
Champion hoop Jim “Pumper” Cassidy missed the ride on EliteFalls first up through suspension but has been engaged to reunite with her on Saturday.
Foxwedge Ready For Next Step
SYDNEY, Friday 26 August, 2011 - John O'Shea has played down any such suggestions that his exciting colt Foxwedge will have a fitness advantage over rivals Smart Missile and Helmet in tomorrow’s Group 3 Run To The Rose Stakes (1200 m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Foxwedge, who has drawn the inside gate and does appear to have the benefit of winning the San Domenico Stakes run under his belt.
ABOVE: Handsome colt Foxwedge runs tomorrow in the lead up to the Group 1 Golden Rose on September 10.
But O'Shea warned he was still at the same fitness levels now as he was prior to his first-up effort.
"I couldn't do anything with him for a week after the San Domenico because of the tracks, due to the ordinary weather last week." O'Shea warned.
"Fitness-wise he is where he was going into the San Domenico, a fortnight ago.”
“I’m happy with him but he is probably a touch softer than I originally anticipated he would be going into his second up run.”
“He will parade in nice order and with improvement to come,”
“He has good gate speed and we don’t need to reinvent the wheel we will leave it in Corey’s capable hands.” Group 1 hoop Corey Brown has been engaged for the mount of Foxwedge tomorrow.
“In behind the lead with the Canberra filly leading and Helmut on our outside I’d say.” O’Shea explained when questioned on how the race would map.
“If we are somewhere close or better come the line then we are on track for a fortnight later which is the prime target we want to win.” O’Shea added.
O’Shea’s other runner is the ever consistent Duke Of Cornwall who runs in the final race of the day.
“He’s in great shape and he doesn’t know how not to run a bad race,”
“He has had a while between runs but that’s just due to programming.”
“It looks an even race and he will make use of his gate and be some where thereabouts when the whips are cracking.”
“Both horses are healthy and have a nice bit of fitness about them so we will be happy if we can be competitive there tomorrow.”
An Elite Silver Shadow
SYDNEY, Friday 19 August, 2011 – Last weekend saw winning returns by Sepoy and Satin Shoes which have both given John O'Shea plenty of reason to be optimistic about the spring credentials of EliteFalls.
ABOVE: Talented Elite Falls proving too strong in the Reisling Slipper Trial last season.
The filly had strong formlines through both gallopers during the autumn, finishing runner-up to the Clarry Conners-trained Satin Shoes in the Widden Stakes and Silver Slipper before reversing the placings in the Reisling Stakes.
She was a strong third to Sepoy in the Golden Slipper and O'Shea said it was heartening to see both Sepoy and Satin Shoes resume with wins at Caulfield last weekend.
"That filly of Clarry's that won in Melbourne on Saturday we beat in the Reisling so it was good to see that form is okay," O'Shea said.
"It looks a nice race for my filly on Saturday and she's quite well treated at the weights."
EliteFalls will carry 56.5kg under the set weights plus penalties conditions of Saturday's Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) with star New Zealand apprentice James McDonald in the saddle.
The Group Three Silver Shadow opens the four-race Princess Series which also comprises the Furious (1400m), Tea Rose (1500m) and Flight Stakes (1600m).
While EliteFalls is also entered for the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) on September 10, O'Shea says he is leaning to keeping her against her own sex.
"At this stage I'd say she'll stick to the fillies' races but I've kept her in the Golden Rose to keep the option open if we wanted to run her there," he said.
O'Shea won last Saturday's San Domenico Stakes with the Golden Rose-bound Foxwedge and is hoping EliteFalls can snare him another feature at Warwick Farm.
The filly was runner-up in a recent barrier trial and has pleased O'Shea with her progress at home.
While EliteFalls has won in the wet, O'Shea is hoping the conditions aren't too testing on Saturday.
With a long spring ahead, he is mindful of the effects of a tough first-up run on a heavy track.
"The wet track helps her in terms of her capacity to win the race and it eliminates a few others, hopefully it doesn't eliminate her," O'Shea said.
New Hoop for Foxwedge in Rose
SYDNEY, Thursday 18 August, 2011 - Gun Kiwi apprentice James McDonald has been confirmed as the rider of San Domenico Stakes winner Foxwedge in next month's $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400 m).
Trainer John O'Shea needed to find a new rider for the talented colt after regular hoop Nash Rawiller copped a 12-meeting careless riding suspension at Randwick yesterday, ruling him out of the Golden Rose on September 10.
"James McDonald will ride Foxwedge in the Golden Rose," O'Shea confirmed.
McDonald has been lured to ride in Sydney by O'Shea a number of times in recent weeks including at Saturday's Warwick Farm meeting where the Champion New Zealand rider will ride the O'Shea-trained Golden Slipper placegetter EliteFalls in the Silver Shadow Stakes.
McDonald broke the New Zealand record for most winners in a season in 2010/11.
He has commitments in New Zealand on Saturday week so won't be in the saddle for Foxwedge's final Golden Rose lead-up in the Group Three Run To The Rose (1200m), Corey Brown will reunite with Foxwedge in the Run To The Rose having won on the glamour colt on debut.
When McDonald was in Sydney last Tuesday week, the apprentice put Foxwedge through his paces in an impressive workout at Randwick ahead of the colt's first-up win in the Group Three San Domenico Stakes (1100m).
CHAMPION THOROUGHBREDS OPEN DAY
SYDNEY, Monday 15 August, 2011 - This coming Sunday, 21st August, John O'Shea will throw open the stable doors to owners, friends and any interested parties to parade Champion Thoroughbreds horses that are currently in work.
The previous Open Days have proved very popular for everyone involved and are a great opportunity for people to come and get up close and personal with their respective racehorses and meet John & Jason and the team.
There will be up to eleven of the current Champion crop of horses to parade.
Also at the stable will be the newly aquired Shamardal filly that is available for syndication.
This particular filly was selected by John O’Shea at the Easter Yearling Sale.
Buzz (Greg) the coffee man will be on hand to provide refreshments, everyone is welcome. John O’Shea Racing Stables is situated 28 High Street, Randwick, the Open Day will get under way at .
Foxwedge Stylish First Up in San Domenico
SYDNEY, Saturday 13 August, 2011 - There is no substitute for class and that was the definition of Foxwedge’s first up victory this afternoon at RosehillGardens in the Group 3 Smithfield RSL San Domenico Stakes (1100m).
The John O’Shea-trained three-year-old slotted in third fence racing in behind a solid tempo, set up by the flying fillies Karuta Queen and Defiant Dame.
ABOVE: Raw power was Foxwedge & Nash Rawiller finding the line strongly in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes.
Rounding the home turn, super hoop Nash Rawiller started to take closer order aboard Foxwedge and when Defiant Dame started to struggle at the top of the straight, he seized the initiative and drove the colt out of a pocket before surging to the front exercising a lethal turn of foot.
Foxwedge shot away but Rawiller remained intense aboard the colt, which was a good thing for his supporters as Anise stormed home hard down the outside.
"He travelled beautifully and let down good.”
“He’s still a bit green, he wobbled a few times and got a bit unbalanced but it’s a nice start to his preparation,” O’Shea said.
"He was probably entitled to knock up a bit late.”
Rawiller said Foxwedge has a tendency to "do all that is needed” and the win was full of merit.
"He’s a very good horse,” Rawiller said.
"He got to them with ease and he’s the sort of horse that if you let him think game is over he switches straight off so I kept his mind on the job.”
"He would have found more if something came at him.”
The son of Fastnet Rock is now heading towards a clash with the likes of Smart Missile and Helmet in the Group I Golden Rose (1400m) on September 10 after his next run in the Group III Run To The Rose (1200m) in a fortnight.
"It’s a good start to where we want to end up and hopefully he can continue to go on with it,” he said.
The win capped a great day for Foxwedge’s owner Dr Edmund Bateman, who captured a two state double after Satin Shoes also made a winning return in the Listed Quezette Stakes at Caulfield.
"Congratulations to Dr Bateman & Mrs Bateman, they have had a big day,” O’Shea said. "He’s put a lot of money into the game and he deserves a horse of this quality.”
4Tracks4Kids - Vaseline & Painkillers Were Key
SYDNEY, Wednesday 10 August, 2011 - Racenet's Craig "Clocker" Thompson gives his memoir post accompanying Richard Callendar (captain), John O'Shea, Duncan McRae among others when walking along the streets of Sydney to raise much needed funds for the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, Bravehearts and the Melanoma Foundation.
See below for Clocker's account and the aftermath of the 60 km journey;
"I knew we were in trouble when we arrived at Warwick Farm to find out the guy driving the support vehicle had walked the SaharaDesert, the GobiDesert and Antarctica but was having no truck with this.
Nevertheless, about 20 people reported for duty at Warwick Farm at to walk the 4 Track 4 Kids route.
The group including guys like ex-League great Ben Kennedy, who looked like he could play tomorrow, Richard Callander, who was clearly under-prepared but talking himself up and an old bloke with a brace on his knee who was clearly out of his mind.
We’d be carrying him for sure at some stage.
The walk to Rosehill was uneventful, comfortable and quite quick, arriving half an hour early to tuck into some particularly good bacon and egg rolls. Easy.
Richie told us about Bravehearts – one of the charities 4Tracks4Kids was supporting.
Only one out of three children that are the victims of sexual assault speak up, so Braveheartsis determined to empower the children, support the victims and their families and put the bad guys where they belong.
We set off for Canterbury minus the Rabbitohs team. They had lended their valuable support from Warwick Farm but had to give the Eels a thrashing a little later.
We were in great shape as we turned on to Parramatta Road, Nathan Berry doing it so easily he was breaking into the occasional jog. It wouldn’t last long.
By Homebush, Richie had started shortening stride, badly, everybody was starting to feel it. Except for Grahame Begg and the old bloke.
Heroic effort to this point but he’d wilt for sure.
As we passed Concord Oval, Richie was in trouble.
The previous year veterans agreed he hadn’t been this bad until Gardener’s Road last year, and that was still 20km away!
There was talk of putting him in a car but he was having none of that. And Nathan Berry had stopped jogging on the spot too. His hamstrings were giving him the bird.
By the time we turned off Parramatta Road to head for Canterbury, we’d all slowed. Alot.
Except for the old bloke, who was keeping a steady pace up ahead but occasionally came back to check on us. Stupid stuff. He’d pay for it soon.
John O’Shea passed an unwelcome comment on my changed gait. And laughed. Like I don’t have feelings.
By the time we hit Canterbury there were varying degrees of pain. We were greeted by a big group of people who were much appreciated that they’d made the time and effort to walk with us.
Feet and hamstrings were the majority issue by Canterbury. Care factor in how we went about relieving the pain wasn’t high. Grahame Begg, John O’Shea and myself were alerted to a noise something like a distressed animal in the men’s loo.
It sounded like a zebra being choked by a lion, like you hear on the National Geographic Channel.
We were greeted by one of our throng, semi naked, bent, in much duress trying to "re-vass”. A view more deformed coconut than sweet peach, and clearly painful.
John O’Shea laughed. Harsh but fair.
Richie told us about The Melanoma Foundation – it kills so many Australians, young and old. They can feel the cure, but can’t touch it yet. They need as much help as they can get to reach their goal to save thousands of lives.
We set off in a much larger group about 70 strong, however fresh legs couldn’t help getting well ahead of the wrecks who were on their third leg now.
Except for the old bloke. Who was somehow leading the fresh legs out. It’d have to catch up with him soon, but there was obviously a possibility he’d make it from here.
When we reached the corner of Princes Highway and Canal Road Richie lay down on the concrete at the pedestrian crossing and you wouldn’t have taken 100-1 about him answering the walk sign.
But he did.
He was going so slow Pigshead (his proper name is somewhere in the ownership of Ilovethiscity) stopped for a couple of schooners before catching up.
Then Richie decided to take some painkillers. Lots of them. It worked.
We could barely keep up, and he wouldn’t shut up, for the length of Gardener’s Road and Doncaster Avenue. He’s a funny bloke is Richie. Larger than life sits well with him.
The walk into Randwick was more a shuffle. Duncan MacRae had been dropping to the ground stretching every third stride for 10km, but made it, still smiling.
Everybody was sore but satisfied.
Except for the old bloke.
He’d got there so far ahead he joined the welcome party to wait for the rest. He was man of the match, no question. He probably walked home.
We cruised up to the Sydney Children’s Hospital and were met by a big bunch of people who either do good things every day of their life, or are the beneficiaries of those people and love them for it.
Over $150,000 had been raised and every cent goes directly to doing something very, very good.
There’s no doubt this is an event that has the momentum now to do something wonderful every year and Richard Callander, and
those with him that have got it of the ground, deserve enormous credit for doing a very good thing.
There is still time to donate to 4Tracks4Kids and help these three great causes and I’d urge you to do it. Footnotes: The old bloke is Geoff Grimish. He owns Shellscrape among others and also made a big donation. Richard Callander describes him as the most generous bloke he knows.
The guy driving the support vehicle was Pete Wilson, who was recovering from surgery. He’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Children’s Hospital, not walking but running! across the Gobi Desert, the Sahara Desert, Antarctica and other extreme places. He’s a hero for sure.
San Domenico Showdown Awaits Foxwedge
SYDNEY, Tuesday 9 August, 2011 - Foxwedge rounded off his preparation for the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100 m) this morning in pleasing fashion according to trainer and rider.
Champion New Zealand hoop James McDonald was in Sydney getting a taste of Randwick trackwork for trainer John O’Shea ahead of today’s Kensington-track race meeting and put Foxwedge through his paces in a solid hitout ahead of the colt's return on Saturday at RosehillGardens.
ABOVE: Exciting colt Foxwedge resumes in the San Domenico Stakes this Saturday.
Sydney's premier hoop Nash Rawiller will be on board Foxwedge in the San Domenico but McDonald will be watching from New Zealand after the colt gave him a great ride throughout the workout.
"He worked awesome, he just gave me a super feel," McDonald said.
"I'm looking forward to watching him go around on Saturday.”
“He's a lovely horse and I will certainly be cheering for him.”
The winner of two of his four starts as a two-year-old, Foxwedge is yet to record a victory at stakes level but O'Shea believes that is only a matter of time and McDonald agrees.
"I'd say he'll be right in it going by the way he worked," the gun apprentice said.
Foxwedge hasn't raced since pulling up sore when seventh in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper in April.
O'Shea is delighted with the colt's preparation for the San Domenico and is confident he is forward enough to make his presence felt.
The Fastnet Rock colt worked with older stablemate on the dirt and clocked 47.50 for 800 m, running home his last 600 m in 34.2 seconds with a final 200 m in a slick 11.1s.
"He needed to have a good piece of work, because he's a pretty gross colt and he had that this morning," O'Shea said.
"We won't die wondering on Saturday. He's probably only going to have four runs this preparation and we'll make sure that in all of them he's right up to the mark."
O'Shea is targeting the Group One Golden Rose (1400m) third-up on September 10 with Foxwedge before the colt is freshened for the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
O'Shea is looking for his second win in the San Domenico after training Charge Forward to victory in 2004.
Second Debut For Quackquack
SYDNEY, Monday 8 August, 2011 - Fresh off capturing the opening Group race of the Victorian racing season, gun apprentice James McDonald will partner the John O'Shea-trained Quackquack when the filly debuts in the Tamarama Handicap (1400m) at Randwick tomorrow on the Kensington Track.
Quackquack returns to the races following two recent trials, the latest resulting in a three length defeat at the hands of debut winner Just The Tonic.
The filly was scratched at the barrier of the Group II Magic Night Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 26 after rearing in the gates.
"She reared and got her bridle caught in the gates and was subesquently scratched at the gates." O'Shea explained.
"She's a filly of some quality which is why she was entered in the Magic Night."
"She's a filly we expect that will get over a bit of ground further down the track, but she's going well enough to give them a shake tomorrow."
"We just want her to have a positive day out and get things right laying a foundation going forward." O'Shea added.
The Randwick meeting will be conducted on the Kensington track with the track currently rated a slow (6) and the rail out 5 metres for the entire meeting.
O'Shea Diplomatic on Missile Day
SYDNEY, Friday 5 August, 2011 – John O’Shea will saddle up two runners tomorrow at Headquarters on Missile Stakes Day.
Romanus who is racing as a model of consistency will tackle his toughest task yet when running over ground.
ABOVE: Running consistent, Romanus tackles 2000 m tomorrow.
“After initially accepting the Nomination, Racing NSW Handicappers in their wisdom then took Romanus out of the 2MW Mile race without any notification,” A frustrated O’Shea explained.
“Programming does not allow him to race over a suitable distance for another month, so we are forced to run him in the 2000 m race on Saturday before we turn him out for a break.” O’Shea continued.
“What is in our control, is a fit, happy and healthy horse who continues to thrive so we will give him the opportunity to run over a bit of ground,”
Romanus has not run beyond 1500 m since being in O’Shea’s care and in his nine starts for the Randwick horseman has only missed a place on one occasion.
“He is out of an Oaks winner, which will surely stand him in good stead, if he runs the 2000 m it just opens a few options for him next preparation.”
Honest mare Kiss’N Chase drops back to her suited 1400 m after her last start attempt at 1600 m in the final event on the card.
“It’s a nice test for Kiss ’N Chase tomorrow, she is going every bit as good as she was when she won two starts back.”
“She loves the Randwick Course Proper and the seven furlongs,”
“We have drawn a little awkwardly and the where she finishes will be tempo related,”
“So if we can get an even tempo up front she will really attack the line late.”
Asked to split the two O’Shea played a diplomatic role.
“Look, both horses are fit and well and which one of the two get the luck in running will be the one that is competitive in the finish, hopefully they both get the luck.”
Miss Marx After A Claim
SYDNEY, Friday 29 July, 2011 –Randwick conditioner John O’Shea will give another young apprentice exposure to the big time tomorrow at RosehillGardens.
Tomorrow the 18-year-old gets his first big chance on a Saturday in Sydney courtesy of O’Shea.
Guymer was booked for Miss Marx last Saturday but O’Shea pulled her out due to the Heavy track conditions.
With a shortage of 3kg claiming apprentices in Sydney, Guymer has the potential to be a worthy asset and has been given his opportunity aboard Miss Marx after a winner for Ron Quinton at Kembla Grange a fortnight ago.
"I really wanted a 3kg kid to ride Miss Marx because I knew she was going to get a fair bit of weight," O'Shea said.
"I spoke with Ron Quinton to see if he could recommend someone and he said that Shaun had done a great job to win on one of his recently."
"I've ridden 63 winners in the past two years," he said.
"I was very surprised when my manager (Paul Goode) told me that Mr O'Shea had approached me to ride Miss Marx.”
"It is a huge thrill to know that the big trainers in Sydney take notice of the provincial's and that they are willing to give me a go."
Guymer feels Miss Marx is the best horse in the race and is hopeful she will handle the expected race conditions.”
"She looks a very nice ride and seems to make her own luck so I will wait until I speak with Mr O’Shea and what he is expecting of me and the filly.” Guymer said.
O’Shea will also saddle up lightly raced promising gallopers Cantonese and Duke Of Cornwall at the Gardens tomorrow, in the first and last races respectively.
Duke To Test The Water
SYDNEY, Friday 22 July, 2011 - John O'Shea is reserved when discussing the wet-track prospects of promising galloper Duke Of Cornwall, who will step out at Warwick Farm tomorrow.
The three-year-old won on slow going last preparation but that was in a midweek race and O'Shea said he was unsure how the gelding would handle a soft track in Saturday grade.
ABOVE: Up in grade but well placed again is Duke Of Cornwall who will run at Warwick Farm tomorrow.
Sydney has been soaked this week with the inclement weather, forcing the abandonment of Wednesday's Canterbury meeting, and while Warwick Farm has fared better than many areas the track will be in the slow to heavy range.
"I'm not real sure about him in the wet to be honest," O'Shea said.
"His pedigree suggests he will get through it alright, he's out of a Rubiton mare so I would be surprised if he's not able to get through it.”
"He is a lovely little horse, a real racehorse, and he's made nice improvement since his first up win."
Duke Of Cornwall has been a modest of consistency in his young careeras he is yet to finish further back than second in four starts but the son of Encosta Del Lago steps up to Saturday grade tomorrow when he contests the Happy 35th Birthday Mario Tartak Handicap over 1200 m, and is aided by the might of champion hoop Nash Rawiller in the saddle.
He is part-owned by high-profile businessman Gerry Harvey who also bred him.
"Gerry bred him and he wasn't able to sell him so he sent him to me to have a look at and see what I thought," O'Shea said.
"I really liked him so I got a bunch of fellas together who bought into him and I think they're happy they did."
Duke Of Cornwall will be one of up to five runners for O'Shea at Warwick Farm along with another last-start winner Kiss `N Chase in the Warwick Farm 100 Club Hcp (1600m).
Fist Of Fury will tackle the At Sea Hcp (1200m) and O'Shea was satisfied with his barrier trial on Monday following an inglorious first-up performance.
He has elected to claim three kilos on Miss Marx in the One Club, One ATC Membership Hcp (1400m) after she was allotted 60kg, engaging little-known apprentice Shaun Guymer on the advice of trainer Ron Quinton.
"Ronnie thought he was up to riding well in town and had glowing praise for him and I don't think there's a better judge than Ron Quinton," O'Shea said.
O'Shea also has Honest Lies in the final race but was ruing the rain for the son of O'Reilly.
"He's flying at home but he doesn't go in the wet," O'Shea said.
O'Shea Building For Further Success After Winning Season
SYDNEY, Thursday 21 July, 2011 –Randwick conditioner John O’Shea has reason to be content with his winning form as he is coming off a strong season of Metropolitan winners over the last twelve months.
O’Shea has had his best season in the number of winners he has led in, in the city, and is set to finish in the top five on the Sydney Trainers Premiership sitting on 41 wins with three meetings remaining.
Figures released by The Sportsman this week reveals how O’Shea has also been the punter’s pal with a profit loss margin the highest of any Sydney trainer with figures in the black of $28.08.
“We have been building for a while now and it has taken time, we have made a concerted effort in selection and acquiring the crop of young horses we have now,” O’Shea said.
LEFT: John & Isabelle O'Shea
celebrate a winning day
at Royal Randwick.
“They still have a long way go as we have to get them to step up to the plate yet and try and graduate them to carnival horses which is always our aim.”
He mentioned that the calibre of stock was crucial especially as he is inferior in numbers to the bigger stables.
“I still have the same number of horses I have always had, I just think the cattle have improved.” O’Shea added.
“We’ll just keep chipping away and hopefully we can get these nice lot of horses through their grades winning and that then brings success at the top end.”
LEFT: Success; John, Jason & Dagmar Abrahams
display winning delight.
“I continually look forward to maximizing every horses potential that’s under our care and giving our new & loyal cliental fruitful success.”
Fresh & Rearing To Go is Foxwedge
SYDNEY, Tuesday 20 July, 2011 – The John O’Shea trained Foxwedge was back in good order this morning at Randwick when having his first barrier trial ahead of Spring targets.
Sydney's premier hoop Nash Rawiller was happy with what was underneath him.
“Yeah, he’s back bigger and stronger,” Rawiller enthused.
ABOVE: Talented rising 3YO colt Foxwedge barrier trialled this morning with high hopes in the up and coming Spring.
“He was a little fresh, but that will be of no concern going forward,”
The son of Fastnet Rock raced in the elite company throughout his juvenile season and has won on two occasions from four race day outings.
Foxwedge won his 728m trial in a time of 44.2 seconds the quickest of the short course heats for the day.
”He's come back really well, he was above himself today,”
”He was a bit keen in the blinkers, I think John will trial him again without them before he returns to the races.”
The rising three-year-old is expected to make his return in the Group III San Domenico Stakes (1100m) on August 13 at RosehillGardens.
O'Shea will aim the colt at the Group I Golden Rose (1400m) on September 10 at his third run back from a spell.
Following the Golden Rose, Foxwedge will be freshened-up and targeted at the Group I Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 30.
O'Shea & McDonald An Instant Success
SYDNEY, Saturday 9 July, 2011 – Champion New Zealand rider, and apprentice, James McDonald came to Randwick on Saturday and made a lasting impression showcasing his tremendous ability in the saddle.
ABOVE: James McDonald & Kiss 'N Chase returns to scale after winning the Stacks Goudkamp Handicap over 1400 m.
O'Shea, who was instrumental in securing McDonald's services for the programme, and the Randwick conditioner prepared four-year-old Red Ransom mare Kiss 'N' Chase to win the $70,000 Stacks Goudkamp Handicap over 1400 m.
McDonald did not produce the mare until late but with utter poise and patience well beyond his years which has become his trademark, and sent her to the line full of running for a length clear win flying down the outside of the track.
It was his first win on the hallowed turf of Royal Randwick and fitting that it was for O’Shea.
O'Shea, a noted task master, was naturally extremely pleased with the win with McDonald riding the mare in the preferred style of being back and then with galloping room.
The trainer was quick in suggesting McDonald would make a fine addition to Sydney's tough riding bench.
“I think there is a place in Sydney for another top class rider and this provides another option for trainers and hopefully James will see the light and spend his time here as we have a tremendous opinion of his ability,” he said.
“The rationale behind us asking him here to ride is that there is a place in Sydney for another senior rider, particularly a rider of his quality.
"As we have seen with Hughie away, Corey suspended, Glyn now to be been suspended, Christian on holidays, Nash cannot ride under 56kg and cannot be booked until after Nominations.
“In Sydney there is a good strength of trainers who are training thirty and forty winners a year giving options for riders."
“I thought he fits into the rider that we like to utilise. He has a wonderful demeanour and he has his head screwed on,” he said.
“Awesome,” said McDonald over the win.
“I had a nice book if rides and I just came did the job in the best way I could. If it was not good enough it was not good enough,” he said.
“I am thankful to John O’Shea for getting me over and providing me with such a wonderful opportunity.”
The Duke Returns In Fine Style
SYDNEY, Wednesday 6 July, 2011 – Promising galloper Duke Of Cornwell returned in a winning way this afternoon when first up off a long break and proving too classy in the ZETLAND HANDICAP over 1150 m on the Kensington track.
Well tried in early markets, Duke Of Cornwall displayed a galloping exhibition when from the wide gate jumped straight across and sat outside the lead.
The Encosta De Lago gelding gave boom apprentice Jason Collett an arm chair ridetravelling full of running throughout.
Once balanced up, Collett pushed the button at the top of the rise and Duke Of Cornwall lengthened stride beautifully too shoot two lengths clear at the 200 m to put the result beyond doubt and eased down a length clear on the line.
“He gave me a great feel throughout and after jumping so well and no early speed we were able to take up a handy spot,” Collett commented.
“He will race in better races than this today, and I’m grateful of the opportunity given to me to ride him by Mr O’Shea.”
Duke Of Cornwall was spelled after winning on Melbourne Cup day last November and has subsequently been gelded and trainer John O’Shea mentioned the best is still ahead of him.
“We won’t get too far ahead of ourselves and as long as he pulls up okay we will just keep him in his grade.”
“Eventually I’m sure we will get into a nice race with him.” O’Shea said.
Kiwi whizz-kid heading to Sydney
SYDNEY, Thursday 30 June, 2011 - Record-breaking New Zealand apprentice James McDonald will travel across the Tasman to ride for Randwick conditioner John O’Shea on Saturday week.
O’Shea has been a vocal supporter of McDonald’s skills and hasn’t hidden the fact he’s attempting to lure the young rider to Sydney on a permanent basis.
"We have followed young Jame’s progress with much interest for some time and hold his skill set and horsemanship in very high regard, and he is a credit to himself with his all round professionalism.” O’Shea said.
“We thought at this current point in time it may be a window of opportunity for him and ourselves to test the waters, so to speak.”
O’Shea has booked the talented rider for the 3YO Benchmark 75 Handicap (1600m), Fillies and Mares Benchmark 85 Handicap (1400m) and the 3YO Fillies Benchmark 75 Handicap (1200m).
McDonald’s services for the remaining five races on the Randwick program can be soughted by contacting O’Shea’s office on (02) 9326-6563.
Cantonese Remains High on the Menu
SYDNEY, Tuesday 28 June, 2011 –Randwick horseman John O’Shea warns although talented but promising galloper Cantonese is yet to prove himself on a drier surface.
Cantonese having only his third race start tomorrow at Canterbury Park in theGRAND PAVILION HANDICAP over 1550 m and O’Shea warned although the blue blooded colt is in grand order it was a very Heavy track last start when Cantonese proved impressive in trying conditions.
“I’m very happy in the manner in which Cantonese has trained on.”
“I expect him to be in the firing line tomorrow and although he ran well first up on a drier surface at Kembla this is a significant rise in grade and on a drier surface than last start when he seemed to power through the conditions.” O’Shea said.
The son of Redoute’s Choice out of former good racemare Kylikwong (Red Ransom) has drawn barrier three tomorrow in which O’Shea envisaged it would give Cantonese the opportunity to be on pace.
“Probably drawn three tomorrow we will look to be just behind the lead but in saying that it is important Christian gives him plenty of galloping room,”
“As I said I can’t fault the colt and he will be sure to run well.” O’Shea added.
O’Shea will saddle two other runners up for the day in the form of lightly raced filly Vantage Point who has strung her last two wins together but has the horrid outside barrier.
“We will make a decision on Vantage Point on race morning once the final track condition is given out as should we get some overnight rain we may be inclined to leave her at home.”
“She looks to have made nice improvement and is still working it all out so there is plenty of upside with her.” Commented O’Shea.
Station Master will be on debut and had been given three sound barrier trials in which O’Shea says have laid a good foundation for the son of Charge Forward.
“Station Master has really come on since his latest trial in which he he looked to work along nicely,”
“He will make his own luck tomorrow and we will try and give him an opportunity to be able to win the race as he is forward enough to show something.”
Stepping Up To The Big Time
GOLD COAST, Wednesday 22 June, 2011 - Steps In Time rounded of her preparation with a sound piece of work on the Gold Coast course proper yesterday morning which has trainer John O'Shea believing the lightly raced filly can ruffle a few feathers in Saturday's Group 1 Tatt's Tiara over 1400 m at Eagle Farm.
ABOVE: Talented filly Steps In Time will contest the Group 1 arena on Saturday at Eagle Farm
The daughter of Danehill Dancer has only stepped out on four occasions on race day and is yet to be tested at the highest level.
O'Shea is certainly not afraid to test her ability against high quality proven performers.
"She worked quite well, as we would of her expected to," O'Shea said.
"I was very happy with her hit-out and she has thrived here in Queensland and looks to have made nice improvement from her last start.”
"The weather up here has been fantastic and I'd say the track will be in terrific condition, which is what we are after because I think she is most effective the better the going is.”
Steps In Time ran her opponents off their legs, with a fine galloping display when she led boldly throughout from a wide barrier to win the Listed Daybreak Lover over the 1400 m distance of Eagle Farm.
These tactics did surprise on the day but O'Shea hinted she is likely to adopt a similar racing style on Saturday.
"She is a filly that likes to gallop. She likes to run along," he said.
"With young horses it can take a little time to determine what their best racing pattern is.”
"You don't want them to be too one-dimensional but she really did appreciate being let stride the other day.”
Steps In Time will be ridden by Christian Reith.
Romanus Continues O'Shea's Winning Run
SYDNEY, Saturday 18 June, 2011 - Form Randwick conditioner John O'Shea went from hot to cold after Romanus claimed victory as the winner of the Edmen Community Staffing Handicap over 1400 m at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
ABOVE: Romanus (outside) holds on this afternoon at Rosehill Gardens.
O'Shea’s issued instructions to jockey Christian Reith, to hit the front as late as possible and time his run, as the horse has a habit of pulling up once in the lead.
After a lovely run in transit and a heady ride from Reith, Romanus tracked up three deep with cover on straightening.
Once balanced up Reith pushed the button and let down Romanus who came with a blistering turn of foot bolting past heavily backed favourite Bereft to hit the lead inside 200 m to the line.
Then, almost like clockwork Bereft started to cut back the gap to Romanus, who survived to win the narrowest of photo finishs.
O'Shea paced the enclosure while the crowd prayed for Reith's sake that Romanus had held on.
Finally the numbers went up and O'Shea was all smiles, the trainer was quick to make it clear when questioned about the horse's inability to finish the race off.
"In fairness to the horse my hands were placed firmly around Christian's throat at the 200m,” O'Shea said.
"He's a difficult horse to ride.”
“He's always been a really nice horse, he just appreciates a bigger circumference on the bigger tracks.”
"He loves a bit of cut in the ground and he got that today.”
Reith was all smiles too when he appeared back in the enclosure and indicated he expected more from Romanus.
"I was hoping he would find a bit more when he got to the front,” Reith said.
"He's a difficult horse to ride, you've got to time your run.”
In the end the margin was a nose. Romanus form profile reads extremely well since being transferred and placed in O’Shea’s care, with the son of Encosta De Lago having had two wins from six starts and a further three placings.
Blue Blood, Cantonese All Quality in Victory
SYDNEY, Monday 13 June, 2011 - John O’Shea trained blue blood colt Cantonese opened his winning account at Randwick in heavy conditions on the Kensington track this afternoon.
ABOVE: Cantonese (inside) dashes to the line strongly in the hands of Christian Reith.
Having his second run following a debut second at Kembla Grange, Cantonese received a very wide run in transit without cover, but still proved too good in winning theWAVERLEY HANDICAP over 1550 m by half a head in a tight finish.
"He had no luck as I couldn’t really go forward or back so had to bide my time and hope he could finish off,” said winning rider Christian Reith.
"He has a lot of ability going forward and will only improve.”
O’Shea was as equal complimentary of the son of Redoute’s Choice.
“Christian didn’t have any luck and all be it a little wide, he kept him balanced and lucky enough once he gave him a dig in the ribs over the concluding stages he found the line extremely well.”
"He's a lovely horse, who was a little bit unlucky first-up, he overaced a bit but was still there at the end,” John O'Shea said.
O'Shea indicated his colt may have tackled the Brisbane winter carnival and said more ground would suit the three-year-old.
"Had he been going a little bit earlier he may have ended up in Brisbane,” he said.