Shamexpress will jump from barrier seven in the 2014 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night and trainer Danny O’Brien is confident that his star sprinter will get a fantastic run into the race from the wide gate.
Shamexpress has not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington just over a year ago, but has performed well in two starts since returning to the races; finishing second behind Snitzerland in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on February 15 and fourth behind Lankan Rupee in the Newmarket Handicap at the same venue on March 8.
O’Brien has been happy with the form of Shamexpress and told TVN that he believes the son of O’Reilly is in excellent condition ahead of the William Reid Stakes this weekend.
“He’s busting to win another Group 1, he’s drawn well and he has Damien Oliver,” O’Brien said.
“He’s drawn to get the right run, just back off the pace and stalking.”
The 2014 William Reid Stakes field has drawn plenty of talent and will feature two-time Group 1 winner Samaready as well as Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner taking on exciting fillies Gregers and Thump.
O’Brien admits that there is plenty of talent in the William Reid Stakes and believes that consistent sprinter Spirit Of Boom, who is yet to breakthrough for a maiden win at Group 1 level, is the biggest threat to Shamexpress following his second place finishes behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Newmarket Handicap.
“To me, he’s the one to beat,” O’Brien said of Spirit Of Boom.
“It is a Group 1 sprint and you have Group 1 winners in Shamexpress, Samaready and Fawkner.”
Shamexpress will be having just his third start at Moonee Valley, but has winning form at the unique track after taking out the Chandler Macleod Premium Handicap (1000m) at the start of his 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing Campaign, while O’Brien will be having his third runner in the William Reid Stakes after missing the placings with Master O’Reilly (fifth behind Turffontein in 2010) and Glamour Puss (fourth behind Virage De Fortune in 2006).
Samaready ($3.60) is currently on top of 2014 William Reid Stakes betting markets from Shamexpress ($5), Spirit Of Boom ($5.50), Gregers ($6) and Thump ($6).