Godolphin have Sweynesse and Malice in the 2015 Epsom Handicap field and trainer John O’Shea is happy with both horses ahead of the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Sweynesse returned to the races with a slightly flat ninth in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 5 and he was given every possible chance in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 19, but he was unable to respond when asked for an extra effort by jockey James McDonald.
O’Shea said that he was disappointed with the way that Sweynesse finished off the George Main Stakes, but he told Racing Ahead that he is hopeful the application of a tongue tie will help the Lonhro entire return to his best form in the 2015 Epsom Handicap.
“When we got back to the scale after the George Main the other day he had his tongue back and he should have finished off better from where he was in the run and the way he travelled,” O’Shea said.
“I think that it is a pretty important gear change for him because he is just going so well at home and the way he travelled I just expected him to let down and let down really well the other day.
“Hopefully that will help him finish his races off a bit better.”
Malice returned to the races with a very poor performance in the Tramway Stakes, but he returned to a semblance of his best form with a fast-finishing second behind Forget in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle on September 18.
The Teofilo entire is set to make his Group 1 debut in the Epsom Handicap and O’Shea admits that the five-year-old could be outclassed, but he will take plenty of benefit out of the run before he heads to Victoria for the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) on October 18.
“Malice has good form over a mile at Randwick, but not at this level,” O’Shea said.
“He will beat more home than will beat him home and then he will head down to Melbourne for the Seymour Cup.
“It is a good lead-up for him.”
O’Shea is chasing his second win in the Epsom Handicap after he took out the 2006 edition of the race with Racing To Win.
Sweynesse is currently available at 2015 Epsom Handicap odds of $17, while Malice is one of the extreme outsiders of the field at his current quote of $71.