Trainer John O’Shea is set to increase his two year old stocks in his Melbourne stables heading up to the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28.
O’Shea hasn’t ruled out sending his two Rosehill juvenile winners Ottoman and Sampeah to Godolphin’s Flemington stables to join Melbourne winners Antelucan and Bantam.
Lonhro colt Mesa is also in the Blue Diamond Stakes mix after a debut third to Thurlow in the Listed $120,000 Santa’s Magical Kingdom Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on November 15.
“Sampeah could possibly be switched to the Blue Diamond at some stage. I’m not committing to the ones currently in Melbourne being the only ones in the Diamond mix,” O’Shea told Racing Network.
“I’m very keen to run well in the Blue Diamond and also because of its proximity to the Slipper.
“With just three weeks between the two races you could come down, run in it and use it as the last run into the Slipper.
“I think that Antelucan, Mesa and Bantam will keep us more than competitive, but if they were found not to be up to the mark or something jumped out of the ground we could quite easily switch them down to Melbourne.
“And that includes Ottoman. They’ve all got to come up, but we’re happy with them so far.”
Ottoman, a filly by Exceed And Excel, scored a narrow win on debut as a short priced favourite over 1100m at Rosehill on December 20 while Sampeah scored a comfortable one length win at his first day at the races also over 1100m at Rosehill on November 29.
O’Shea already has a strong two year old presence in Melbourne with Antelucan winning the Group 3 $150,000 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 4 and Bantam scoring a narrow win at his second race start over 1000m at Moonee Valley on November 29.
Jockey Chad Schofield was aboard Bantam in his Moonee Valley win over the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Miss Idyllic and was impressed with the gutsy performance.
“Although we only one by a small margin the win was softer than it looked,” Schofield said.
“We got driven mad by a few out wide, but once the race sorted itself out he came back on the bridle.
“It was a better win than it may have looked on TV.”
“I thought Michael Walker (Miss Idyllic) had me at the top of the straight but he enjoyed the challenge and he came out on top which was nice.”
O’Shea said that Exceed And Excel colt Furnaces was the pick of the yard at his stage and would remain in Sydney to concentrate on the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21 following his six and a quarter lengths win over 1100m at Rosehill on October 25.