Trainer John O’Shea is set to reluctantly send Malice to the spelling paddock after he recorded a narrow win in the 2014 ATC Cup at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Malice’s narrow win over Metaphorical and Midsummer Sun in the ATC Cup was his third win of his spring preparation and he is arguably racing in career best form, but O’Shea does not believe there are any suitable races for the Teofilo gelding in the next fortnight.
The rescheduling of the Summer Series in Sydney means that there is a month long gap between the ATC Cup and the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Boxing Day and O’Shea made it clear after the ATC Cup that he was not happy with the change.
“The Summer Cup is 2000 metres but it’s four weeks away and there’s no continuity to it,” O’Shea told the media after the race.
“We’ve got Terai for the Christmas Cup and she’s a genuine two mile and a half horse and I’m not a fan of the restructuring.
“We sat down the other day as a team and tried to figure out what we were going to do.
“The Summer Cup is a month away and he’d have to trial, so leave me out of that.
“It’s a shame because he’s going very well.”
While O’Shea was clearly not happy with the scheduling of the Summer Staying races in Sydney, he was thrilled with the performance of Malice, who was forced to dig deep in the final stages for the second race start in a row.
O’Shea said that he instructed jockey Sam Clipperton to follow Metaphorical into the race in the early stages of the race and that decision paid dividends when Malice was able to get his nose in front of his rival in the shadows of the post.
“He’s a great little horse,” O’Shea said.
“He’s a son of Teofilo and we don’t have many of them, but they all want to hit the line hard and try.
“I thought he’d just lob past and I was happy to be on him when he went over the line.”
Young jockey Sam Clipperton has been given a number of opportunities to ride of the Godolphin operation since O’Shea took over in May and he has now recorded two wins and a placing from his three race rides on Malice.
Clipperton said that he was forced to throw everything he had at Malice in the final stages of the ATC, but was thrilled to get the four-year-old over the mile for his maiden win at black type level.
“It was a tough slog up the running and it was a good battle,” Clipperton said.
“I thought I was going to get there at about the 25-metre mark because the horse seemed to lengthen its strife, but I wasn’t sure.
“I yelled and screamed and threw everything at him.”
Malice has now recorded five wins from his 14 race starts and accumulated almost $250,000 in prizemoney for Godolphin.