Outstanding colt Shamus Award repeated his Cox Plate victory with an all the way win in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington today.
The Danny O’Brien trained three year old became the first maiden galloper to win the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Spring leading all the way for apprentice Chad Schofield.
Today Craig Williams adopted the same front running tactics and Shamus Award ($4.6) was able to hold off the late charge of Sydney colts Criterion ($11) and Thunder Fantasy ($15) with Eurozone ($4.60) finishing fourth after attacking the winner early in the straight
Favourite Hucklebuck ($3.80) was always well back in the pack and was unable to make up enough ground in the straight to threaten and wound up in eighth spot.
Shamus Award was having his second run back since his Cox Plate win and O’Brien was able to produce the Snitzel colt in outstanding condition.
“It was a very important race, I have said that for the last three months,” O’Brien said.
“We really wanted to come and win this. He done what very few three year olds have done winning a Cox Plate. To back it up with the Guineas puts him very rare air.”
“He is a magnificent individual. His father Snitzel is about to be champion stallion and when he wins races like this we are going to make sure he gets every chance to emulate Snitzel one day himself.”
There is a good chance Shamus Award will back up next week at Flemington in the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) before heading to Sydney for the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 29 and the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19.
And O’Brien has already earmarked this year’s Cox Plate for Shamus Award and will try to replicate the efforts of So You Think who won the weight for age championship of Australasia as a four year in 2010 after winning it the previous year in his three year old season.
“We definitely have one eye on this year’s Cox Plate. It’s not often you get a chance to win your second one as a four year old, we saw So You Think do it,” O’Brien said.