Craig Williams has been booked to ride Shoreham in the 2014 Sandown Cup and trainer Saab Hasan is hoping that the talented hoop can bring a change of luck for the tough gelding.
Regular jockey Chris Symons was taken off Shoreham after connections were unhappy with his ride in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 22, but replacement hoop Jim Cassidy was criticised heavily after he elected to take up the running on Shoreham in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on November 1.
Hasan told Racing Ahead this morning that Cassidy went against instructions when he took Shoreham to the lead in the Lexus Stakes and he believes that Shoreham is capable of returning to winning form if Williams is able to settle him just behind the leaders in the early stages of the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) this weekend.
“It wasn’t the plan to lead and he has never led in his life,” Hasan said.
“I don’t know where that came from; my intention was not to drag him back to last because in those 2500 metre races if you keep dragging them back to last then you are fighting them.
“Our plan was to go forward and slot in behind the speed hopefully midfield and for some reason he ended up in front and went for home in a 50k wind.
“It was never the intention to lead at all, but hopefully we can draw a barrier this week and I have no doubt that Craig will be doing his form and his homework.
“If the horse can draw a barrier and box seat all the way he is going to take a world of beating.”
While Hasan was clearly not impressed with Cassidy’s ride on Shoreham in the Lexus Stakes, he is happy with the way that the Reset gelding came out of the Group 3 race and is pleased with his condition heading into the Sandown Cup.
Hasan admits that Shoreham is coming towards the end of his preparation and will likely head to the spelling paddock after running in the Sandown Cup, but he said that the five-year-old is giving every indication that he will prove tough to beat if he has some luck in the Listed event.
“He is very well.
“He had a very solid gallop this morning and I am very pleased with the way that he has pulled up.
“The horse worked solid and he has pulled up fine and we are just getting the blood done to see where he is at.
“Sometimes towards the end of their preps you have to take all the safety precautions, but I am happy with the horse, he is eating well and he is definitely bright and healthy in the coat.”
19 horses have been included in the 2014 Sandown Cup nominations and he could take on the likes of Green Moon, Sea Moon, Massiyn, Prince Of Penzance, Grand Marshal, Like A Carousel, Renew and Unchain My Heart.