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Stan Fox Stakes Likely For Shards In The Spring

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Trainer John O’Shea has revealed that he is likely to bypass the 2015 Golden Rose Stakes with Shards and set the rising three-year-old for the 2015 Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on September 26.

Shards made his racing debut with a credible third place finish behind Bring A Secret and Coys in the TAB Rewards Maiden Plate (1250m) at Canterbury on May 13 and he finished half a length behind subsequent J.J. Atkins winner Press Statement in the Place Multi Plate (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on May 30 before he broke through for a maiden race win with a professional effort in the TAB.Com.Au Handicap (1350m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

After Shards victory in the TAB.Com.Au Handicap, many racing experts were confident that O’Shea would set the Medaglia D’Oro colt for the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 12, but O’Shea revealed after the race that he still does not believe that Shards is on the same level as the likes of Exosphere, Furnaces or Ottoman and will likely follow a different path with the talented juvenile in the spring.

“Obviously we’ve got a bunch there with ratings on them and he’s probably not with them at this stage of his career, but he might improve,” O’Shea said after the race.

“Given the opportunity to get over a bit further and when he gets to a mile he’ll be nice.

“There’s 1300 [metre race] there about three weeks before the Golden Rose (the Up And Coming Stakes) and then we’ll just go on alternate weeks through to the Stan Fox.

“I think that’s a nice progression for him.”

While O’Shea is pessimistic about Shards heading towards the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival, jockey Sam Clipperton was very impressed with the performance of the rising three-year-old and he clearly has a big opinion of him heading towards the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.

“To run third at his first start, second to an eventual group 1 winner and win today with a big weight means he’s really going through his grades well and that’s what is impressing me most,” Clipperton said.

“He lengthened and ended up winning easily.

“It was very impressive and good for the horse.”

Golden Slipper winner Vancouver is currently available at 2015 Golden Rose Stakes odds of $3 and is a clear favourite from Exosphere ($9), Fontiton ($9), Headwater ($9) and Ready For Victory ($9).

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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