An 800m hit-out down the Flemington straight this morning has Shamexpress at the top of his game ahead of his international test in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot on June 18.
The three-year-old took on seven horses and showed the turn of foot that won him the Newmarket Handicap to emerge from midfield and win the jump-out in a time of 47.21 seconds.
The O’Reilly colt finished the final 400m in 21.73 seconds under a hold from jockey Craig Newitt, leaving trainer Danny O’Brien confident the future stallion prospect will be at “110 per cent” for the first-up test.
“We missed the autumn in Sydney and Brisbane with the idea of having him 110 per cent in England,” O’Brien told a large group of media following the jump-out.
“Everything’s gone to plan so far, we’ve just got to get the travelling out of the way and he’ll be ready to run at Ascot.
“The horse has got to be really race fit when he gets on the plane and that will just bring him right to the mark.”
Shamexpress hasn’t raced since he flew down the Flemington straight to defeat Moment Of Change and claim his first Group 1 in the Newmarket in March.
That win makes him a lucrative stud prospect but O’Brien said he is unlikely to join fellow colts Pierro, All Too Hard and Your Song in being rushed to the breeding barn.
“He’ll race on next season as a four-year-old and I imagine he’ll find a home at some stage in the next 12 months,” he said.
While the King’s Stand remains the primary goal, O’Brien said the winner of three of 10 starts is also likely to race in the July Cup at Newmarket.
“There’s a possibility he’ll stay throughout the summer over there,” O’Brien said.
“He’s certainly got three or four runs in him if we wanted to stay.”