Trainer Danny O’Brien has given Cox Plate winner Shamus Award a glowing report as he prepares for his Melbourne Autumn Carnival debut in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8.
O’Brien intends to give Shamus Award a second jump out on Friday at Flemington and said the three year old is in is tip top condition following his jump out last Friday.
“He is sensational, he’s furnished out. He enjoyed his time at Barwon Heads, I’m very pleased with him,” O’Brien said.
“He’s really good, very happy with him and he’ll do a bit more on Friday.”
“He’s stronger and very well. He will jumpout Friday and then start off in the Orr on February 8.”
O’Brien plans to head straight to the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1 after the Orr Stakes, but said that if he did need another run the Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 22 was an option.
And a start in the Group 1 WFA $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington a week after the Guineas is also a possibility.
“He’s a colt, the Guineas is a very important race for him, but the Australian Cup is an option. We will get to the Australian Guineas first,” O’Brien said.
“He’s a pretty clean winded type of colt. At this stage the plan is to run just in the Orr then go to the Guineas. The Futurity could be an option.”
Big race jockey Craig Williams will ride Shamus Award in the Friday’s jump out and will be back on board the three year old when he resumes in the weight for age C.F. Orr Stakes.
Williams will take over from apprentice Chad Schofield who scored an history making win on Shamus Award when he led all of the way in last year’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
But Williams is no stranger to the Snitzel colt with two placings from three rides during the Spring Carnival.
Williams had no luck when second to Cauthen in the Listed $120,000 Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on August 24 then two runs later was runner-up to Divine Calling in the Group 2 $220,000 City Jeep Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 27.
Glen Boss also had a share of the Spring mounts and ran third on Shamus Award behind Long John in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.
Shamus Award is sharing favouritism in the Australian Guineas with Tony Vasil’s smart three year old Prince Harada with the pair’s price hovering around the $8 and $9 mark.