Orujo has been backed into 2015 Kensington Stakes odds of $5.50 and Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh is confident that the talented colt can record his maiden win at Listed level at Flemington on Saturday.
Orujo has been a consistent performer at Listed level since he made his racing debut with a fifth place finish behind Nordic Empire in the Flemington Equine Clinic Plate at Caulfield on November 30, but he is yet to breakthrough for a black type win after finishing second in both the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) and Listed Chandler Macleod St Albans Stakes (1200m) during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
The Exceed And Excel colt was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished a credible fifth behind Angelic Light and Lankan Rupee in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and returned to racing with a close third behind Edgewood in the Racing.Com Handicap (1000m) at Bendigo on December 21.
Walsh told Racing Ahead that the Godolphin team were happy with the first-up performance of Orujo and are hoping that the application of blinkers will help him return to winning form in the Kensington Stakes this weekend.
“He is very well,” O’Shea said.
“He just raced a bit fresh there and he stayed on strongly to be narrowly beaten.
“We set him for this race this campaign and we expect him to present very well second up.
“John has elected to put the blinkers on, which we have been quiet keen to do for some time.
“Drawing towards the outside there can sometimes be an advantage down the straight course and we are excited about running him.”
Orjuo has shown a dgree of tactical versality during his racing career to date, but he was ridden off the pace by jockey Regan Bayliss in the Racing.Com Handicap and Walsh said that he expects jockey Dwayne Dunn to settle the three-year-old behind the leaders, which will likely include the speedy Sweet Emily, in the early stages of the Kensington Stakes.
“He has generally got that sort of pattern,” Walsh said.
“He has good cruising speed and we will be quiet open in terms of our instructions for Dwayne and he can make his mind up when the gates open.
“The blinkers on might have him a little bit closer.”
Orujo opened at 2015 Kensington Stakes odds of $8.50, but he has been easily the best backed runner in betting markets for the Listed event and is now into a quote of $5.50.