The Chris Waller trained Omei Sword has drawn nicely at barrier three in the nine horse field for the Group 3 $150,000 Australian Chinese Jockey Club Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Hugh Bowman will be having his first race ride on Omei Sword since winning a Rosehill 2yo Maiden on the filly almost twelve months ago.
Omei Sword showed plenty of potential during the 2016 Sydney Spring Carnival with a win in the Group 2 $175,000 Alpha Flight Services Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick followed by a second to Astern with Joao Moreira in the saddle in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill.
Waller had to call short Omei Sword’s Spring Carnival campaign after she developed a respiratory infection which ruled her out of running in the Group 1 $500,000 Sydney Airport Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
“We thought, ‘well you’re going to have a pretty big autumn’ taking on some older fillies and mares’ so we decided not to push too far when she had a minor setback,” Waller told AAP.
“She’s come back well and she’s a strong, mature horse now.”
Omei Sword is the only filly to start in the Eskimo Prince Stakes but Waller has no concerns setting her up against the colts and gelding after she displayed in the Spring that she can compete with them.
“She has had that experience against the boys and proved she can be up against the depth of those colts,” Waller said.
“It makes for an exciting horse ahead of the autumn.”
Bowman has had a feel of Omei Sword in two easy barrier trials at Warwick Farm on January 10 and Randwick on January 27 as she prepares to kick off her Autumn Carnival campaign that will head towards the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 11.
Waller will also saddle up promising colt Comin’ Through who has drawn barrier six with Michael Walker in the saddle.
Comin’ Through is the winner of two of his three race starts and Walker was aboard for his last start win in the Group 3 $200,000 The Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the first day of the 2016 Melbourne Cup four day Carnival.
John O’Shea will also saddle up two runners in the Eskimo Prince Stakes, well-bred colts Bezel (barrier 4) and Bryneich (barrier 5).
Bezel with James Doyle to ride, is having his first run back since running third to Comin’ Through in the Carbine Club Stakes while Brenton Avdulla gets the ride again on Bryneich who is stepping up sharply in class after scoring an impressive four and a half lengths win in a 1250m BenchMark 70 Handicap at Canterbury on January 20.
Tommy Berry rides the Kris Lees trained Guard Of Honour who has drawn barrier seven while the Anthony Cummings trained Man From Uncle has drawn the outside gate in the Eskimo Prince Stakes with Jason Collett to hold the reins.