Trainer John O’Shea has revealed that he could not be happier with the condition of Barbed heading into the 2015 Ramornie Handicap at Grafton this afternoon.
Barbed was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished sixth behind It Is Written in the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on February 6 and he returned to racing with a disappointing performance in the Listed June Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick on June 6.
O’Shea believes that Barbed had plenty of excuses for his poor effort in the June Stakes and he is confident that the Canny Lad gelding is a genuine winning chance in the 2015 Ramornie Handicap following a strong barrier trial behind Decision Time at Warwick Farm on June 29.
“He got a wet track and a bad gate – both things weren’t to his liking,” O’Shea said.
“He was ok, but I would disregard it and go back off his trial last week and the fact that he is a lot more effective on top of the ground.
“From the soft draw, he looks to get a nice run.
“We are very happy with where he is at and he is in as good a form as he was in the summer and this is the race that we have targeted for him this preparation.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way that he is going.”
Barbed has been a consistent performer at Stakes level since he took out the 2013 edition of the Listed Heritage Handicap (1100m) in just his second start and he finished a credible second behind Zoustar in the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 5.
The gelding went on a lengthy losing streak during his autumn campaign in 2014 and he was narrowly denied in the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at Scone on May 17, but he finally returned to winning from when he beat the likes of Ball Of Muscle, Dothraki, Heart Testa and Driefontein in December last year.
Barbed is currently available at 2015 Ramornie Handicap odds of $6.50 and has been one of the best-backed runners in the Listed event after opening at a quote of $10 when the final field was released earlier in the week.
I’ve Got The Looks remains a clear favourite with Ladbrokes at a quote of $3.50, but there has also been money for Le Cap ($18 into $8).