The consistent Vashka will head to the spelling paddock after he held off a fast-finishing Under The Louvre in the 2015 Moonga Stakes at Caulfield this afternoon.
Vashka was taken straight to the lead by jockey James McDonald and the talented hoop was able to control the tempo of the race, while Under The Louvre was settled at the tail of the field in the early stages of the Moonga Stakes.
Under The Louvre had plenty of work to do coming around the turn and his task was made even tougher when Vashka kicked away at the top of the straight and the son of Exceed And Excel was able to hold on in the concluding stages to record his second straight win.
Vashka was having his first race start at Caulfield in the Moonga Stakes and McDonald revealed after the race that the five-year-old had relished the tight-turning circuit.
“He travelled beautifully,” O’Shea said.
“He really suits Caulfield, especially with the firm track, he gives a good kick and he stays on well.
“It is a credit to the team, they have kept him up and had him peak on the right day.
“John gave me terrific instructions to just let him stride and he was a happy horse when he can do that.”
John O’Shea admitted after the race that he was unsure how Vashka would handle his first race start over the Melbourne way of going, but he was delighted that the Shannon Stakes winner had been able to find the rail in the early stages of the race.
The Moonga Stakes is generally considered a key lead-up race to the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup, but O’Shea said that Vashka would likely head to the spelling paddock before he returns for an early autumn campaign.
“For the Sydney horses first time at Caulfield, if you can find that rail it is a big advantage and he got around it really well,” O’Shea said.
“I have always thought that the 1400 here would really suit him.
“It was a really good team effort to get him here and it was really nice to get one on the board her today.
“He is a really tough little horse and we think that at some stage next year he will make a weight-for-age horse over 1400 and you might see him back here early in the year.
“I think that we will just give him a break now and get him back here.”
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes is still offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% on every single race at Caulfield this afternoon, so don’t miss out on the best odds for every single Caulfield Cup runner.