Trainer John O’Shea has revealed that he will be instructing jockey James McDonald to ride White Sage in a forward position in the 2014 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
White Sage went into the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with an undefeated record, but has failed to live up to the hype in her two starts this preparation; finishing third in the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on February 15 and seventh in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
O’Shea believes that White Sage will be suited by the step-up to 1500 metres and is hopeful that a chance in riding tactics will help the daughter of Reset return to her best form in the Coolmore Classic this weekend.
“She has just been crying out to be ridden in a forward position over a little bit further,” O’Shea told Racing Ahead this morning.
“The track was very gluggy the other day at Warwick Farm and there looked to be a bit of speed in the race, but that never eventuated.
“We will definitely bang her out and ride her on speed.
“I think that she is better suited at this stage of her career in handicap conditions and her main goal is this Saturday.”
White Sage will be joined in the 2014 Coolmore Classic field by stablemate Gypsy Diamond, who will be returning to Group 1 level for the first time since she finished fourth in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m).
Gypsy Diamond has performed well since returning to the races, finishing second in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) and fourth in the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m), and O’Shea believes that the daughter of Not A Single Doubt is a genuine winning chance.
“She is coming into the Coolmore with a good preparation, she is down in the weights and third-up,” O’Shea said.
“She has been racing very well at set weights in good three-year-old company form and I think that she will appreciate a fast-run 1500, which it will be if Steps In Time runs.”
O’Shea is chasing his first win in the Coolmore Classic after finishing second in the 2004 edition of the race with Private Steer.