Trainer John O’Shea is confident that Savvy Nature will continue to improve heading into the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Savvy Nature has performed well this campaign since resuming in August; finishing an unlucky third in the Rosehill Gardens Handicap (1400m) before going on to win the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle and finish second behind Complacent in the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m).
O’Shea has set the Savabeel gelding for a lengthy 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, including a trip to Melbourne for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), and believes there is still plenty of improvement left in the three-year-old despite his strong form.
“He has improved since the Gloaming but there is still plenty of improvement in him,” O’Shea told Racing Ahead.
“He obviously has a trip to Melbourne and a run in Melbourne prior to the Derby so we want to leave a bit left there.”
The Victoria Derby has always been the major target for the Spring Stakes winner but O’Shea admits that the rising gelding is no certainty to run out the testing 2500 meters trip of the Victoria Derby and is better suited to the Spring Champion Stakes this weekend.
“He is probably a query at the 2500 metres to be honest,” O’Shea said.
“He is a genuine 2000 metre horse and that is probably sufficient as a three year old to run a mile and a half but I don’t know if ultimately he will be a mile and a half horse, he is probably just a bit too brilliant.”
O’Shea is chasing his first victory at Group 1 level in Sydney since Jessicabeel won the 2010 edition of the Sydney Cup (3200m) and although he believes that Savvy Nature is a winning chance the Randwick-based trainer confessed that he would not be surprised if a three-year-old came out of nowhere to win the event.
“It is a Group 1 race and I think that it is quite a good Group 1 race to be fair,” O’Shea said.
“There are some emerging young three-year-olds.
“Obviously he has as good exposed form as any of the others but there is a healthy respect for some of the fresher horses.
“At this time of the year horses can improve dramatically as we saw with Complacent the other day.”
Savvy Nature will become the seventh horse to complete the Spring Stakes/Spring Champion Stakes double if he is successful on Saturday.