Sarajevo recorded an impressive barrier trial victory over 1050 metres at Royal Randwick this morning and trainer John O’Shea believes that the talented colt is close to the mark ahead of his return to racing.
Sarajevo was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished a credible sixth in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13, but has been back in work for some time and has now had two barrier trial starts.
The Lonhro colt defeated a classy field, which included the likes of Affirmation, Pornichet, Hawkspur and Hampton Court, in his trial at Royal Randwick this morning and O’Shea believes that the three-year-old will be forward enough to win first-up when he returns to the races.
“Ideally we would like to get him going quiet early,” O’Shea told Sky Racing HQ.
“He is a lot lighter than what we had him previously and when we ran him last preparation he was as big as a house and wintery.
“I was mindful to very conservative with how I approached the horses at that stage because I didn’t have much of an idea what was going on, but I’ve got a bit of a better understanding of him now and know what we need to do with him.
“I think we have him relatively close to the mark and forward enough to run well first-up.”
Godolphin have always been confident that Sarajevo was capable of winning at the highest level of racing, but plan on giving the colt an easy start to his autumn preparation in order to give him the best chance to return to winning form after he was plagued by wet tracks during his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“He will just have a nice run on a Saturday in about two and a half weeks and ideally we will get him on the board and get him back winning,” O’Shea said.
“Beyond that we will sit down with the team and try and devise a program that will be effective for him.
“He had wet tracks every run and I’m sure he is a much more effective horse on top of the ground.”
Sarajevo started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an unlucky fourth place finish behind Scissor Kick in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 9 and he made up ground late without finishing in the placings in both the Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 30 and the Golden Rose Stakes.