Sweynesse will be given the opportunity to record a maiden win at Group 1 level in the 2015 Epsom Handicap at Royal Randwick on October 3.
There was a great deal expected of Sweynesse heading into the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but he was unable to record a race win and he was sent to the spelling paddock after he beat home just a single runner in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 6.
Sweynesse is now back in work and trainer John O’Shea confirmed that the Lonhro entire would be set for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) before heading to Melbourne for the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 if he happened to win the race that is now worth $1 million in prizemoney.
“He was a little bit disappointing late last preparation,” O’Shea told Racing Ahead.
“He had a few issues which probably compromised how he ended up in the preparation.
“We will keep him to the mile and head towards the Epsom now that it is worth so much.
“He is a good miler, he ran second in a Guineas, he is still well-weighted and if he was to win an Epsom we would probably give him another crack at the Cox Plate.
“He was very effective there at the Valley last year, but he would have to win an Epsom to warrant a start in the race.”
Sweynesse stamped himself as a horse to follow when he took out both the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) and Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he suffered his maiden defeat in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 11 before he finished a credible eighth in the Cox Plate.
The rising four-year-old started his autumn campaign with a close second in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 21 and he was narrowly beaten again in the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 7, but he did not appear to handle the step-up in trip for the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 21 ahead of his Doncaster Mile flop.
O’Shea is chasing his first victory in the Epsom Handicap since he took out the 2006 edition of the race with Racing To Win, who went on to finish a disappointing 11th in the Cox Plate.