Maidener Shamus Award scores a huge upset result in the 2013 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley today with an all the way win.
Shamus Award’s win in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) was the first maiden runner in the history of the Cox Plate, first run in 1922, to win the Weight-For-Age Championship of Australasia and was also the first Cox Plate victory for Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien.
But the ride of apprentice Chad Schofield to win his first Group 1 race stole the show with the twenty year old taking Shamus Award straight to the front after beginning well and was never headed.
“It’s a fantastic feeling. I wanted to get a Group 1 really badly and what a way to do it in a Cox Plate,” an ecstatic Schofield said.
“With the scratching of the great mare (Atlantic Jewel) we secured our place in the field and I just want to thank Danny O’Brien and his owners for putting me on the horse and I am so happy I can repay them for that.”
Schofield was confident that Shamus Award would run well after the three year old worked solidly on Wednesday morning even though he was one of the outsiders of the field.
“I was confident the horse would run well but as the same time he was a thirty to one pop.”
“I was pretty confident he would run well because he worked nicely. It’s just a great feeling.”
O’Brien said that with a bit of luck Shamus Award could have been a Caulfield Guineas winner and a Cox Plate winner.
“We were first emergency and we had a bit of good fortune with Atlantic Jewel coming out,” O’Brien said.
“Not much has gone his way the whole spring, but the last seven days had really gathered momentum and here we are now.”
Shamus Award was coming off a third to Long John in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12 and was originally the first emergency and only made the Cox Plate field after glamour mare Atlantic Jewel was scratched because of a tendon injury.
Because of his maiden status, the decision by the Moonee Valley Racing Club to include Shamus Award in the field was deemed somewhat controversial but the decision was proven right.
After leading into the straight Shamus Award ($21) fought all the way to the winning post and was able to score by a nose from Happy Trails ($12) who was finishing strongly down the middle of the track.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente ($8) put up an enormous effort to finish a further half a length away in third spot after having a horrid run three deep for most of the way before challenging the leaders on the corner.
Fiorente’s chances was probably lost at Tuesday’s barrier draw when he came up with the outside gate as were $4 favourite It’s A Dundeel (gate 12) who was also stuck out wide with no cover and wound up in eighth spot.
Puissance De Lune ($5.50) was in a handy enough position and made a dash on the home turn but couldn’t finish the race off and faded to finish twelfth.