A fading sixth in the Australian Cup last Saturday by Shamus Award hasn’t dulled the confidence of trainer Danny O’Brien and will now head to Sydney with the three year old for the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 29.
Shamus Award will be dropping back to his own age group in the Rosehill Guineas and O’Brien said that would make his job easier after getting run over by the older horses in the weight for age Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington.
The Snitzel colt tried to repeat his performances when he led all of the way to win last year’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington March 1.
But after setting the pace in the early and middle stages, Shamus Award was run down over the last 250m when the tough weight for age horses, Fiorente, Green Moon and Foreteller ran away to fight out the finish.
“He was overrun by tougher, older horses at the end of 2000 metres,” O’Brien told Racing Network.
“I thought he ran bravely, but he was always going to be vulnerable third up at 2000 metres. He’ll be back against his own age group in the Rosehill Guineas.”
A run in the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19 will be determined by Shamus Award’s performance in the Rosehill Guineas with O’Brien making definite plans to run in this year’s Cox Plate again in the Spring.
Regular rider Craig Williams will be back to ride Shamus Award in the Rosehill Guineas after being suspended for eight meetings for careless riding at Flemington on Saturday when stewards found him guilty for allowing his mount The Spitfire to interfere with Damien Oliver’s mount Hawking at the 200m in the Group 2 $220,000 Henry Bucks Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Williams will ride Big Memory, one of the top fancies in today’s Group 2 $400,000 Tattsbet Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville but will miss the rich Autumn Carnival meeting at Randwick on Saturday which features the Group 1 $600,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).
Even though O’Brien hasn’t confirmed a start in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Shamus Award is currently a $14 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au with Australian Cup winner Fiorente heading the market order at $3.80 in front of It’s A Dundeel at $4, Boban at $7 and Appearance and Guelph also marked at $14.