It’s Somewhat is set to contest the 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in a fortnight after he recorded a narrow win in the Neville Sellwood Stakes at Rosehill Gardens this afternoon.
It’s Somewhat was extremely well-backed in the lead-up to the Neville Sellwood Stakes and he started the race as an odds-on favourite following his Ajax Stakes victory last start.
Jockey James McDonald settled It’s Somewhat in third behind Messene and Entirely Platinum in the early stages of the race before he elected to get going a long way from home around the turn.
It’s Somewhat cruised up to Messene, but the Team Hawkes-trained galloper fought back gallantly in the final stages of the race and looked as though he could score an upset win but was unable to get his nose in front of his rival.
McDonald admitted after the race that he was very nervous in the final stages of the race, but he was quick to pay credit to the toughness that It’s Somewhat showed in the final stages of the Neville Sellwood Stakes.
“I think I have grown a couple of grey hairs myself,” McDonald said.
“It was a tough effort because Tommy (Berry) and Dwayne (Dunn) on the Hawkes runners had their own way and I sat him behind them and stalked the speed.
“I got on my bike a little bit early just so I could be in touch and it was probably the winning of the race really.
“He was a tad dour, but he had made a 600 metre run and he stayed on strong.”
Trainer John O’Shea was impressed with the performance of It’s Somewhat and he confirmed that the son of Dynaformer will remain at 2000 metres for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick in a fortnight before he heads to Brisbane for the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m).
“He was 1500 to ten furlongs and to be fair to the Hawkes boys they made it a genuine test,” O’Shea said.
“That will toughen him up.
“The winner of this race last year was dominant in the Doomben Cup and I think this is where this horse is heading as well.
“We are toying with the idea of running him in the Queen Elizabeth, primarily because most of the weight-for-age races in Australia this year have been trot and canters.
“He is a horse that will bowl along up on the speed and he has had the run at ten furlongs now.
“He has run third in an Eclipse Stakes in Europe, so he has good ten furlongs form.”
Messene produced another tough effort, but is still chasing that elusive return to winning form, while Sir John Hawkwood loomed up as the winner at the 200 before he died on his run late.