Trainer Danny O’Brien has confirmed that talented sprinter Shamexpress will take his place in the 2014 All Aged Stakes field at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Shamexpress started his autumn preparation back in February when he ran home strongly to finish second behind Snitzerland in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington and he performed consistently in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8, Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 21 and the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on April 12 without recording a race win.
O’Brien told Racing Ahead this morning that he was happy with the way that Shamexpress finished the race in the T.J. Smith Stakes and said that he is hopeful the O’Reilly entire will be able to produce an even better performance on a drying track in the All Aged Stakes at Royal Randwick this weekend.
“We have had a frustrating enough preparation with him,” O’Brien said.
“Obviously he hasn’t won this prep, but he has raced very well for us and he is rock-hard fit.
“It would be lovely to get back on a dry track there on Saturday and if it was going to be a heavy again we probably wouldn’t go back up there, but the weather looks ok.
“He hit the line super from a long way back on a track that was hard to make up that sort of ground and he has come out of it really well.”
Shamexpress has previously had three race starts at 1400 metres, finishing fifth in the Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes behind All Too Hard in 2012 and ninth in the Group 1 2012 Golden Rose Stakes, but has not contested a race over the trip since he finished fifth behind Epaulette in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival.
O’Brien said that Shamexpress is unlikely to press on and contest either the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 24 or the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) on June 7 during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and is set to head to the spelling paddock after running in the All Aged Stakes on Saturday.
The leading Melbourne trainer will be having his first ever runner in the All Aged Stakes and is chasing his first race win in Sydney in the past 12 months.