Cox Plate winner Shamus Award had his final piece of serious trackwork in Melbourne this morning, before he heads to Sydney to run in the 2014 Rosehill Guineas on Saturday, and jockey Craig Williamswas impressed with his work in the lead-up to the Group 1 event.
Shamus Award will be making his Sydney racing debut in the Rosehill Guineas on Saturday and Williams told Sky Racing HQ that the son of Snitzel worked strongly the Sydney way of going this weekend and is primed for a tilt at a third Group 1 victory.
“He was able to use the inside grass and he just had his last little bit of a stretch before he comes up to Sydney on Saturday,” Williams said.
“We actually worked him Saturday morning at Moonee Valley and he had a really good gallop there last Saturday.
“This morning he just went out there to stretch his legs in the Sydney direction and I was happy with the way that he moved.”
Shamus Award proved his 2013 Cox Plate victory was no fluke by taking out the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1, but was unable to replicate that performance in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and faded in the final stages of the race to finish third.
Williams believes that Shamus Award will face an easier field in the Rosehill Guineas this weekend and is confident he will be difficult to beat if he reproduces his Australian Guineas performance.
“I am happy going in against three-year-olds,” Williams said.
“It is his first time going in the right-hand direction, but he has done enough work that I would be disappointed if that is the reason he gets beaten on Saturday.
“He is only competing against the three-year-olds and when he last competed against them he won the Guineas.
“Hopefully he just brings that form to the races on Saturday.”
History is against Shamus Award as no horse has won both the Australian Guineas and Rosehill Guineas in the same year, but that has not stopped the three-year-old being well supported in betting for the Group 1 event.
Shamus Award is currently available at Rosehill Guineas odds of $6; with Randwick Guineas winner Dissident ($4.60) a narrow favourite from talented New Zealand-trained colt Puccini ($4.80).