With Foxwedge well and truly on the path for the 2011 Golden Rose, trainer John O’Shea is trying to determine the ideal setup for the horse as a three year old.
He’s decided that blinkers will not be added and that his natural progression in maturity will sharpen him up enough.
Foxwedge had his first run since the Golden Slipper yesterday in a barrier trial at Randwick.
He was wearing blinkers in the trial but O’Shea says he was a little keen in the run and that for now at least they wouldn’t be reappearing.
“Last preparation he was a very laid back customer and was still learning what it was all about and he needed them,” he said.
“I was in two minds whether or not I should trial him in blinkers but they will be coming off next time.”
Despite going quite hard early on Foxwedge still managed to win his trial.
He was two wide on the lead throughout but still had enough to get the 728m distance ahead of the Jason Coyle-trained Fayez.
“I’m very happy with how he has come back this time in,” O’Shea said.
“Mentally he is a lot more switched on and he has made the necessary physical improvement also.”
At the moment the plan is for him to have one more barrier trial before making a race return in the San Domenico Stakes on August 13th.
The Group 1 Golden Rose isn’t until September 10th and assuming he’s still travelling well he’ll then head to Melbourne for the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day.
Foxwedge has been a valuable member of O’Sheas mini revival in 2011, he’ll finish in the top five of Sydney’s Trainers Premiership for the first time since the 2006 / 2007 season.
“I’ve got the same amount of horses, I think the cattle has just improved,” he said with a current tally of 41 wins.
“You can’t do much without the right horses and I’ve made an effort to acquire horses we believe are city quality.”
Other news to come out of yesterday’s trials include the successful return of the Gai Waterhouse trained Herculian Prince
Ridden by Nash Rawiller, the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap winner finished narrowly ahead of stable mate Go With The Flo.
Another one to watch is Saskia, the Redoute’s Choice filly putting in the run of the day according to many observers.