The 2014 Orr Stakes odds of Shamus Award have continued to shorten; with the 2013 Cox Plate winner into a quote of $3.20 to win the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Shamus Award will be returning to the races for the first time since his memorable Cox Plate triumph and will reunite with leading Melbourne jockey Craig Williams, who did the majority of the work on the three-year-old during his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
Williams missed the ride on Shamus Award in both the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and the Cox Plate and told Racing Ahead this morning that he is delighted to have the opportunity to partner the Snitzel colt in the Orr Stakes this weekend.
“It was Danny’s planning at the last minute to back Shamus Award up in the Cox Plate and I was anticipating riding him in either the Vase or the Carbine Club,” Williams said.
“There is no doubt that Danny pulled the right rein there and Chad (Schofield) did a great job on him to win the Cox Plate.
“I have been delighted to be re-associated with the horse and I am looking forward to this preparation with him.
“I have sat on him four times and I have just been really happy with his progression.
“When he first came back he was a little bit colty and full of himself, but ever since then he has been progressing nicely and I am really looking forward to the Group 1 event this weekend. “
The 2014 Orr Stakes is set to be a tactical affair over the 1400 metres course at Caulfield and Shamus Award has drawn at the outside of what will likely be a six horse field.
Williams is acclaimed for his tactical nous during races and he is happy to wait until the barriers open on Saturday before me makes a decision on where to position Shamus Award during the run.
“I have sat on him four times and I have just been really happy with his progression,” Williams said.
“When he first came back he was a little bit colty and full of himself, but ever since then he has been progressing nicely and I am really looking forward to the Group 1 event this weekend.”
The leading jockey has committed to riding Shamus Award throughout his 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing campaign, with the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on the agenda, but he revealed that the talented colt would not have many starts during his autumn preparation.
“I have committed to Shamus Award and he is the best horse that I want to target the rest of the carnival around,” Williams said.
“I am hoping that he does standup and if he does it will be interesting to see whether he goes into the Futurity or he goes into the Guineas.
“We will see what happens after that, but I know the idea with Shamus is not too have too taxing a autumn and to really look forward to his program during the spring carnival later in the year.”
Shamus Award is currently on the second line of Orr Stakes betting markets; with Peter Moody-trained Moment Of Change still favourite at Orr Stakes odds of $2.40.