Shamus Award will be having his first race start on a rain affected track in the 2014 Rosehill Guineas this weekend and trainer Danny O’Brien admits that he is unsure how the Cox Plate winner will handle the conditions in the Group 1 event.
Flemington-based Shamus Award has only raced on tracks rated a good three or a dead four during his racing career and O’Brien told Racing Ahead this morning that the son of Snitzel has never galloped on a wet track.
The Rosehill Gardens track is currently rated a heavy eight, with more rain expected in the next 48 hours, and O’Brien admits that is a concern heading into the Rosehill Guineas this weekend.
“It is always a bit of a concern,” O’Brien said.
“Our horses, particularly at Flemington here, just don’t get that much exposure on soft ground.
“There are certainly horses that are naturals in it, but there is also of horses getting more adapt on it the more they trial on it and the more they run on it.
“This guy has never raced on anything that wasn’t a good three or a dead four and he would never have galloped on a surface much worse than this.
“We have a lot drier conditions here and very rarely expose our horses to soft going.
“It will certainly be new to him and let’s hope that he is one of those horses that just really grows a leg in it.”
While O’Brien is concerned about the state of the Rosehill Gardens track, he is happy with the condition of Shamus Award who he believes has bounced back well from his tough sixth place finish in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8.
O’Brien said that that Shamus Award required a week to get over the effects of the run, but believes that the three-year-old is primed for the Rosehill Guineas this weekend after impressing in trackwork at both Moonee Valley and Flemington.
“It probably took him a week or so to get over it,” O’Brien said.
“Obviously he had the two runs in seven days, so we gave him a pretty quiet time for a week or so after the race and we built things up over the last ten days.
“He had a gallop at Moonee Valley last Saturday and another piece of work at Flemington this week.
“The horse is ready to go back to the races; he looked terrific on the track this morning and his blood was terrific yesterday.”
The 2014 Rosehill Guineas odds of Shamus Award have drifted in the past 24 hours and he is now out to a quote of $6.50, while New Zealand Derby winner Puccini ($4.80) remains favourite from Randwick Guineas winner Dissident ($5.50).