Trainer John O’Shea has revealed that Bow Creek is likely to be Godolphin’s sole representative in the 2016 Australian Cup.
Bow Creek was purchased by Godolphin after he failed to fire in the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes (1609m) at Royal Ascot and he made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing second behind Turn Me Loose in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 before he failed to fire in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 7.
O’Shea told RSN this morning that Bow Creek had done everything right in the lead-up to his autumn preparation and he confirmed that the Shamardal entire will return to the races in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13 before he presses on to the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 12.
“He was very unlucky in the Crystal Mile, which turned out a strong form race, and he probably just didn’t back up second race after coming from Europe,” O’Shea said.
“He is going to run first-up in the CF Orr and he has good form at Group level in Europe over 2000 metres.
“He looks to me to be a genuine ten furlong horse and he likes firm ground, so that is the key to me to having him down in Melbourne.
“We are really looking forward to getting him to Melbourne and he has trialed nice twice.
“He has had a much better preparation than what he had in the spring and he will be effective first-up next week.”
Godolphin also have new import Arab Dawn, The BMW winner Hartnell, Australian Derby runner-up Hauraki and The Metropolitan winner Magic Hurricane in the 2016 Australian Cup nominations, but at this stage they are unlikely to contest the race.
Bow Creek is currently available at 2016 Australian Cup odds of $8 with Ladbrokes and is on the second line of betting behind two-time Group 1 winner Preferment ($8), who is a narrow favourite from unlikely starters Criterion ($9) and Mongolian Khan ($11), star Western Australian galloper Perfect Reflection ($11), Sandown Cup winner Almoonqith ($13), Lloyd Williams-owned Amralah ($13), German import Our Ivanhowe ($13) and Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement ($13).
Neither O’Shea nor the Godolphin operation have previously had a runner in the Australian Cup.