Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien is eyeing off a second Cox Plate with Shamus Award after the three year old lead all of the way to win the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Winning rider Craig Williams adopted the same tactics that Chad Schofield successfully used in winning last year’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in November and O’Brien is planning to be back there this Spring.
“The Cox Plate is definitely on the cards. The horse has the opportunity to become a two-time Cox Plate winner,” O’Brien told TVN.
“That is very rarely done. Obviously, you are talking So You Thinks and Sunlines and Northerlys.
“We have that opportunity and we will be giving him every chance to do that.”
O’Brien would love to try to replicate the efforts of So You Think who won the weight for age championship of Australasia as a four year in 2010 after winning it the previous year in his three year old season when trained by Cups King Bart Cummings.
Shamus Award proved that his Cox Plate win as a maiden galloper was no fluke with his second Group 1 win against a field of top class three year olds and O’Brien will step the Snitzel colt back up to weight for age company this weekend in the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington.
A Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign will follow before O’Brien turns his attention towards another Cox Plate assault in the Spring.
The Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 29 back against the three year olds will be the colts first Sydney test then back to weight for age for the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19, the second day of the two day Randwick carnival ‘The Championships’.
“Shamus Award will go to Sydney for the Rosehill Guineas and then the Queen Elizabeth Stakes,’’ O’Brien said.
“Two thousand metres is right in his sweet spot and the Rosehill Guineas is ideal to see how he goes the Sydney direction.”
“After The Championships at Randwick, Shamus Award will go for a spell as we are very keen on trying to win a second Cox Plate with him.”
Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente currently heads the Australian Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au at $2 with Shamus Award the second pick at $4.80.
The Chris Waller trained Foreteller and Australian Guineas third placegetter Thunder Fantasy share the next line of betting at $8 with Green Moon marked as a $10 chance.