Trainer Danny O’Brien believes that Shamus Award has had the perfect preparation heading into the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Shamus Award is yet to record his maiden race win but has performed well this preparation; finishing second behind Cauthen in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m), seventh in the Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes (1200m) and an unlucky second behind Divine Calling in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley just under a fortnight ago.
O’Brien told Racing Ahead that the Caulfield Guineas has always been the goal for the son of Snitzel and will go into the $1 million event with every possible chance.
“His preparation has been perfect for the Guineas,” O’Brien said.
“We have aimed at it from the start of the spring.
“We had one little hiccup here, he got his tongue over the bit in the Henry Bucks but the tongue-tie sorted that out last start, and the horse is going in with no excuses on Saturday.”
Shamus Award drew barrier twelve yesterday and O’Brien admitted that he was not over-the-moon with the barrier draw but said he was confident leading jockey Glen Boss would make the best of it.
“I would have preferred to draw in,” O’Brien said.
“I think the last five or six years the winners have drawn inside five and we are a go forward horse so I wasn’t ecstatic about the draw.
“I suspect that there will be enough tempo but I will leave it to Glen as to how aggressive he wants to be out of the gate.
“He will work it out as it unfolds.”
Shamus Award almost led from start to finish when he made his debut over a mile in the Stutt Stakes and a number of racing experts felt that he was unlucky not to be awarded the race on protest after he was laid on by Divine Calling in the final stages of the race.
O’Brien felt that the consistent colt relished the step-up to a mile and is confident that he will be even stronger over the trip in the Caulfield Guineas this weekend.
“We are going in with the horse spot on,” O’Brien said.
“The horse had no problems with the mile at the Valley and second time at it on Saturday he should be tougher again.”
Shamus Award will be O’Brien’s second ever runner in the Caulfield Guineas after Barbaricus finished fifth behind Weekend Hussler in the 2007 edition of the race.