Trainer John O’Shea has confirmed that he will reapply blinkers to classy filly Gypsy Diamond when she contests the 2013 Crown Oaks(2500m) at Flemington tomorrow.
Gypsy Diamond finished a disappointing sixth behind Guelph in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) but produced a much improved effort to upset Gregers in the Group 2 Jeep Don’t Hold Back Classic (1600m) at Moonee Valley before finishing a credible fifth in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Saturday.
O’Shea told Racing Ahead that he was happy with Gypsy Diamond’s performance in the Wakeful Stakes but said that she lacked the turn-of-foot that she showed in her victory at Moonee Valley, acceleration he hopes will return with the reapplication of blinkers for the $1 million Group 1 event on Thursday.
“We will put the blinkers back on her; she was a little bit flat without the blinkers and it took her a little bit to pick up at the top of the straight,” O’Shea said.
“In the race at the Valley she was sharp and tracked off the back of David Hayes’ horse and showed a good turn of foot.
“Saturday she was just a bit flat for three or four strides at the top of the rise but she worked home nice and it was a good trial for the Oaks.
“Blinkers go back on and hopefully she can just be a bit sharper when James (McDonald) asks her to extend.
“She has had a great prep, she has thrived and I am really happy with her going into the race.”
There does not appear to be a great deal of speed in the 2013 Crown Oaks field, with Solicit a likely leader from Tear Gas, but O’Shea is still happy to have Gypsy Diamond settle towards the tail of the field.
The Sydney-based trainer said that he has studied the recent runnings of the Crown Oaks and believes that the typical pattern of the strong staying fillies settling at the tail of the field before finishing over the top of the leaders will suit the daughter of Not A Single Doubt.
“I know that there is no speed but if you watch the last few runnings of the Oaks they still come off their backs and the strong fillies are the ones running home,” O’Shea said.
“I don’t think we will reinvent the wheel and we will take her back because the favourite is going to be back with us.
“We will try and get on the back of May’s Dream coming around the turn and get a cart into the race that way.”
O’Shea will be having just his third runner in the Crown Oaks after previously missing the placings with Gold Lottery (2001) and Scale The Heights (2000).