Shamus Award will have the opportunity to record his third victory at Group 1 level on Saturday after being included in the 2014 Rosehill Guineas nominations.
Shamus Award started his autumn preparation with a third place finish in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8 before recording the second win of his career with an impressive front-running effort in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1.
The Snitzel colt was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and he took up the running in the early stages of the race, but faded late to finish sixth behind Fiorente.
Trainer Danny O’Brien believes that Shamus Award’s run in the Australian Cup was better than it looks on paper and told TVN that he is very happy with the condition of the Cox Plate winner heading into the Rosehill Guineas this weekend.
“I didn’t think his run in the Australian Cup was too bad, but Flemington, 2000 metres, is not something I would do with him again,” O’Brien said.
“It’s always a hard track for those sort of horses.
“He’s going there in great shape.
“We’re very happy and expecting him to run well.”
The 2014 Rosehill Guineas nominations are packed full of quality and include promising New Zealand stayer Puccini, who is set to make his Australian racing debut in the $500,000 event at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Puccini made his Group 1 debut with a fourth place finish behind Atlante in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park on November 9 last year before scoring a narrow win in the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m).
The Encosta De Lago colt was far from disgraced when fourth in the Group 1 Ocean Park Levin Classic (1600m) before scoring three straight wins in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m), Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).
Puccini is currently on top of 2014 Australian Derby betting markets and has also been included in the nominations for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) that will be held at Royal Randwick on April 19.
Royal Randwick Guineas winner Dissident will have the chance to score a second straight win at Group 1 level in the Rosehill Guineas, while consistent colt Criterion, Team Cummings-trained Eurozone, Hobartville Stakes placegetter Savvy Nature and Kiwi colt Atlante have also been included in the nominations.