The blinkers are going back on Savvy Nature for the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday and trainer John O’Shea is hoping for the same result as the last time he made the gear change with the three year old.
O’Shea put the head gear on Savvy Nature when he lined up in the Group 2 $220,000 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley in the Spring and the son of Savabeel ran away in the straight to score a three lengths win for James McDonald.
The top Randwick trainer removed the blinkers at the beginning of his Autumn Carnival campaign and even though Savvy Nature ran a nice third to Dissident in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 1, he is looking for that extra edge going into the Group 1 on Saturday.
“We’re going into a very strong race so we’ve up the ante with him during the week and put the blinkers back on,” O’Shea told the Sportsman.
“It’s a darn good version of the race.”
“He gets his chance. His effort first-up was very good and he’s done well since.
“I’m pretty happy heading into Saturday.”
O’Shea is keen to secure a Group 1 victory with his team over the Sydney Autumn Carnival before he takes up his position as head trainer her Darley Australia when Peter Snowden steps down in May and Savvy Nature will give him that chance on the weekend.
“It would be that little bit special,” O’Shea said.
“I’ve got some nice chances in Group 1 races coming up over the carnival. Savvy Nature is one of them.”
McDonald will stick with Savvy Nature and is certain to give him the perfect ride from barrier six in the fifteen horses field.
Savvy Nature will head to the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 29 after Saturday and O’Shea will decide after that if the three year old will stick to his own age in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 12 or take on the older horses in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) on the same day.
“He’ll go to the Rosehill Guineas after Saturday then we’ll worry about anything else after that,” O’Shea said.
“These are his two major races at the moment.”
In an open betting race, Ladbrokes.com.au have Savvy Nature marked as a $9.50 chance in the Royal Randwick Guineas with the Kiwi colt El Roca the $4.00 favourite.
New Zealand’s other representative Atlante is on the second line of betting at $6 ahead of the Hobartville Stakes winner Dissident, Eurozone from the Bart and James Cummings team and Gai Waterhouse’s Bull Point all on the $8 line.