Top Randwick trainer John’ O’Shea couldn’t be happier with the progress of his Group 1 star Sea Siren as she heads towards the Group 1 HK$15m Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
O’Shea was on hand at Sha Tin to oversee Sea Siren as she galloped over 1000m on the course proper and said she looked in top order during the workout.
“We sent her over 1000 metres and while she wasn’t out to break the clock she came home the last bit really well,” O’Shea said.
“Just couldn’t be any happier with the way she is.”
“She barely had a blow afterwards. I’ll see how her bloods are tomorrow and her weight but she may not need a lot more work now.”
O’Shea has the opportunity to give Sea Siren another hit out later in the week if he thinks she needs one more blow out.
“She’ll probably do a bit more work on Thursday or Friday because she’s doing so well,” O’Shea said.
Everything has gone to clockwork so far since Sea Siren left Melbourne and O’Shea said that the only thing that could go wrong from now until Sunday would be a horror barrier draw.
“The draw is the next piece of the puzzle on Thursday and that’s the biggest hurdle,” O’Shea said.
O’Shea was quite amused with the way Sea Siren and has mated up with Alcopop after the pair travelled from Australia together.
“You couldn’t believe how they carry-on calling out to each other. Yeah, they are buddies alright,” O’Shea said, laughing.
While Sea Siren seems to take everything in her stride, trainer Jake Stephens was very pleased with the way Alcopop had settled into his new surrounding with his new ‘girl friend’ as the eight year old gets ready to tackle the Group 1 HK$22m Longines Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
“He needs the companion and I doubt we would have come had he been on his own,” Stephens said.
Sea Siren has been installed the $3.20 favourite for the Hong Kong Sprint after taking her Group 1 winning tally to three when she accounted for a smart field in the Group 1 $500,000 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
The Fastnet Rock mare with regular jockey Jim Cassidy on board then went down narrowly to Mental in the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival but lost no admirers.
After riding the winners of most of the major Group 1 races in Australia, Cassidy will be searching for his first major overseas victory if Sea Siren can take out the Hong Kong Sprint.
“I’ve ridden winners in Hong Kong and Japan but I’ve never won a Group 1 race overseas,” Cassidy said.
“In Hong Kong, I’ve ridden three times at the international meeting and ran second on Livistona Lane in the (1990) Cup and second on Bezeal Bay in the (1998) Mile.
“If I can win on Sea Siren, it would be a milestone in my career, a great achievement and a great honour as (owner) Keith Biggs and John O’Shea are great supporters of mine, particularly Keith as we go back a long way.”
The Casper Fownes trained Lucky Nine looks the hardest for Sea Siren to beat and is the $4.20 second favourite in front of the Japanese galloper Lord Kanaloa and the John Moore trained Time After Time who share the next line of betting at $6.50.