A July Cup start at Newmarket is still on the cards for Shamexpress despite finishing down the track in the Group 1 £350,000 The King’s Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) at Royal Ascot overnight.
A disappointed Danny O’Brien said that Shamexpress will push on to the Group 1 £500,000 Darley July Cup (6 furlong) at Newmarket on July 13 even though he faded over the concluding stages down the straight course to finish five lengths behind Irish sprinter Sole Power in ninth place.
Race favourite Shea Shea looked to have the race won for South Africa but was run down close to the line to be beaten by a neck with Pearl Secret a further one and a quarter lengths away in third spot.
“We will probably stay,” O’Brien said..
“We are here now and the horse seems in good order – and try him over six furlongs in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket,” O’Brien said.
Immediately after the race O’Brien thought the English campaign could be over but now looks like continuing the overseas campaign.
“We’ll have to assess him and see what we’re going to do,” O’Brien said straight after the race.
“He seemed to travel well, he was in a good position but he didn’t go on with it.”
“When I expected him to put in his bid, he had reached the end of it.
O’Brien is hoping the six furlongs of the July Cup will be more to the three year olds liking, the same distance as the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington that Shamexpress won in March.
A return to form at Newmarket could then see the O’Reilly colt line up in the Group 1 £250,000 The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (5 furlongs) at York on August 23.