P J O’Shea Stakes to be Preferment’s swansong

By: Mark Mazzaglia
May 30th, 2017

Trainer Chris Waller is still deciding if the Group 2 $200,000 Pages Event Equipment Hire P J O’Shea Stakes (2200m) at Doomben on Saturday will be multiple Group 1 winner Preferment’s last race track appearance.

Preferment, above, will retire after he runs in the P J O'Shea Stakes at Doomben. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Preferment, above, will retire after he runs in the P J O’Shea Stakes at Doomben. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Waller said that Preferment pleased him in a gallop at the Gold Coast on Tuesday morning but he would discuss with his owners if the 2014 Victoria Derby winner has one more run before he retires from the race track.

“We’re going to make a decision on him on Wednesday morning,” Waller told racing.com.

“He’ll either be retired before the race or after the race.

“Things just haven’t gone right for him in the past 12 months. He’s still working well, I was happy with his gallop this morning, but I’ve got to speak to the owners to see if they do want to run him once more before being retired.”

Preferment is a four times Group 1 winner and Waller said that it would be hard to find a replacement for the high quality stayer.

“(He’s a) Victoria Derby winner through to a Turnbull Stakes, Australian Cup and The BMW, he certainly is a very good stayer,” Waller said.

“And, of course, he is a son of Zabeel.”

Preferment is only one of eight stayers nominated for the P J O’Shea Stakes which was originally set down to be run at Eagle Farm but will now be run at Doomben after the entire Queensland Oaks meeting was transferred because of the unsatisfactory condition of the Eagle Farm track.

Among the nominations are Group 1 winning mare Single Gaze, Doomben Cup placegetter Rudy, Warrnambool Cup winner High Church, three year old filly Shenandoah, local galloper Cylinder Beach and restricted gallopers Shine Tak Star and Garbhan.

Waller cut short Preferment’s Sydney Autumn Carnival campaign because of the continuing wet tracks after only two runs at Randwick for a sixth to Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 The Star Apollo Stakes (1400m) followed by a tenth to his super star stablemate again in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).

The first of Preferment’s four Group 1 victories came in his three year old season when he won the $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Then as a four year old the son of Zabeel won the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington during the 2015 Spring Carnival before collecting back to back Group 1 wins during the 2016 Autumn Carnival in the Group 1 $1m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington and in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill.

Preferment is the winner of five of his twenty-eight starts and collected just of $3.4 million in prizemoney for his connections.

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