Shards has been backed into 2015 Caulfield Guineas odds of $21 and trainer John O’Shea believes that the talented colt still represents value in betting markets for the Group 1 event that will be held at Caulfield tomorrow.
Shards opened at a quote of $51 when the 2015 Caulfield Guineas field was released earlier in the week, but there has been consistent support for the Medaglia D’oro colt and he is now into $21 to claim a maiden win at Group level.
The three-year-old recorded the biggest win of his racing career to date when he took out the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 22 and he failed to fire in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12 before he returned to his best form with a second place finish behind Press Statement in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at the same venue on September 26.
O’Shea admits that Shards has been beaten by Press Statement in their two previous meetings, but he told Racing Ahead that he is very happy with the condition of the three-year-old and he believes there is value in his current Caulfield Guineas odds.
“He has met Press Statement twice and Press Statement has beat him twice, but I didn’t think it was entitled to have such a great disparity in the market,” O’Shea said.
“They are both drawn beside each other.
“My colt had one little aberration second-up this time, but apart from that his form has been great.
“He has been crying out for the mile and he will likely get out over even further.”
While O’Shea is happy with the physical condition of Shards ahead of the 2015 Caulfield Guineas, he admits that he was not pleased when Shards was allocated barrier 12 at the Caulfield Guineas barrier draw that was released earlier this week.
O’Shea said that he expects there to be a fair bit of early speed in the Caulfield Guineas, but he revealed that he is unlikely to give any firm riding instructions to veteran hoop Jim Cassidy.
“I am really happy with him, but I am just a bit concerned about the gate,” O’Shea said.
“There are quite a lot of unknowns in the race; a number of the leading chances have drawn wide and a few have the addition of blinkers.
“The last time we were at Caulfield whatever was in front at the turn was in front at the finish post, so everyone will have the same idea and there will be plenty of pressure.
“I will just leave it to Jimmy, he is an experienced rider and we are very happy with the horse.”
Press Statement is currently available at 2015 Caulfield Guineas odds of $2.70 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear favourite from Ready For Victory ($8), Dal Cielo ($10, Tulsa ($12), Bassett ($13), Bon Aurum ($14) and Sovereign Nation ($17).