Trainer Danny O’Brien is feeling very positive about the Autumn Carnival prospects of Shamus Award after the three year old won his jump out this morning in preparation for his return in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8.
Shamus Award will be having his first run in the weight for age contest next week since his historical win in the last year’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October and looks on track for a rewarding Autumn with a four lengths 800m jump out win at Flemington today.
“He had a quiet jump out last week, we asked him to do a little bit more this morning, he was solid to the line and Craig Williams was really pleased,” O’Brien told Racing Victoria News.
“His fitness is just where we need it to be and he’s eight days out form resuming in the Orr, so everything’s positive.”
O’Brien is hoping that Shamus Award will continue on with his new found fame after becoming the first maiden galloper to win the Cox Plate after apprentice Chad Schofield was able to lead all of the way in the Australasian Weight For Age Championship.
“He’s a three-year-old that’s getting into the autumn, so he’s obviously getting bigger and stronger and he strips a more mature colt this autumn,” O’Brien said.
“He’s already a Cox Plate winner, so we’re expecting him to be very competitive in anything he runs in.”
O’Brien will decide after Saturday week’s C.F. Orr Stakes if the three year old will need another run before heading to the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1.
“He’s definitely going to the Australian Guineas, we’ll decide after the Orr whether he needs another run,” O’Brien said.
“If he does run again the logical race would be the Futurity.”
The Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) is also run at Caulfield two weeks after the C.F. Orr Stakes but is only one week out from the Australian Guineas.
Other C.F. Orr Stakes contenders who also went around at the jump outs this morning were the Chris Waller pair of Foreteller and Hawkspur.
Dual Group 1 winner Foreteller and Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur are set to follow the same path through the Melbourne Festival Of Racing and are aimed at running in the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8.
The Tonyl Vasil trainer Prince Harada who resumes in the Group 3 $135,000 John Moule Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday is the ruling favourite for the Australian Guineas at $6 with Shamus Award the second pick at $8.
Bull Point, from the Gai Waterhouse stable, also resuming in the Manfred Stakes is next in the betting at $10 just ahead of Victoria Derby winner Polanski, an $11 chance and Spring Champion Stakes winner Complacent at $12.