Trainer John O’Shea believes that promising filly Nightingales will relish the step up to 2000 metres when she contests the 2014 The Roses at Doomben on Saturday.
Nightingales made her racing debut in October of last year and performed consistently during her maiden racing campaign that was highlighted by a dominant three lengths victory in the Coates Hire Handicap (1400m) at Kembla Grange on October 26.
The Street Cry filly started her autumn preparation with a sixth place finish in the R.G McGees Hotel (1500m) at Hawkesbury on April 10, where she failed due to the heavy ground, and finished a fair third in The Races.com.au Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury on April 23 before being beaten by two and a half lengths when sixth in the TAB Quaddie Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm on May 7.
O’Shea told Sky Racing HQ this morning that Nightingales has been running as though she will appreciate a step-up in trip and believes that the three-year-old will be competitive in The Roses this weekend.
“She has been crying out for 2000 metres and had no luck the other day at Warwick Farm from a wide gate,” O’Shea said.
“Her work on Tuesday morning was first class and she has taken a little while to get fit and up to those distances, but I think that she is starting to come into her own now.”
O’Shea has been in charge of the Darley operation for under a fortnight and is still getting an understanding of just how many horses are now under his care; with the stable set to have a number of runners right around the country this weekend.
Darley only have four runners at Doomben, which have been accompanied to the Sunshine State by new assistant trainer Darren Beadman, but have all four represent good chances in their respective races.
Talented filly Miniature will have the opportunity to score her maiden win at black type level in the Listed Juanmo Stakes (1200m), while Emblems will take on a strong field in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1350m) after resuming with a fifth place finish in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m).
Safeguard returned to his best form with a second place finish behind Dothraki in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) and has the chance to turn-the-tables in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m).
O’Shea will have the chance to score his first Group 1 win in charge of Darley when Knoydart contests the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) next weekend.