Trainer John O’Shea is confident that consistent sprinter Barbed can add another black type win to his racing resume when he contests the 2015 Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley tonight.
Barbed scored his second win at Listed level when he upset Ball Of Muscle to win the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) at Canterbury on December 27, but he had no luck whatsoever in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on January 9 and could finish no better than eighth.
The Canny Lad gelding was given a couple of easy weeks after his tough Takeover Target Stakes run, but he produced a good effort behind I’m All The Talk in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on January 27 and O’Shea told Racing Ahead that he believes the four-year-old will be very tough to run down in the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m).
“He has done well,” O’Shea said.
“Because he had such a hard run in the Takeover Target we gave him an easy week just to re-confidence build and he had a trial at Warwick Farm, which was good.
“He got to Melbourne and Dave is really happy with him.
“He is a bright and alert little horse that is in good form.
“He gets a beautiful run in that race and I think he will be really effective.
“He will take a position and be hard to run down.”
Barbed made his racing debut in May of 2013 and he was tipped for big things after he took out the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) in just his second race start, but he was unable to record another race win as a three-year-old, despite finishing in the placings in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m), Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) and Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m).
The Godolphin-trained gelding made a slow start to his spring campaign in the Supporting 4 Tracks For Kids Welter (1000m) at Randwick on October 6 and the Listed City Tatts Club Lightning (1100m) on October 18, but he was able to return to winning form in the Canterbury Classic before his tough effort in the Takeover Target Stakes.
Barbed is currently available at 2015 Abell Stakes odds of $4.80 with Ladbrokes and he is locked in a battle for favouritism with Kevin Heffernan Stakes winner Fast ‘N’ Rocking ($4.20), speedy colt Tudor ($4.40), the resuming Charmed Harmony ($4.80) and Robbie Griffiths-trained It Is Written ($4.80).