Randwick trainer John O’Shea will bring a strong Kiwi contingent to his home meeting on Saturday.
New Zealand-breds enjoyed a successful run over The Championships in Sydney, winning seven of the eight Group Ones on offer, and O’Shea is hoping that success continues into this weekend.
O’Shea will be represented by Per Incanto gelding Lost And Running in the Gr.1 All-Aged Stakes (1400m) where he will be ridden by Tom Marquand from barrier 12.
Lost And Running drew a similar marble when sixth in the Gr.1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at the Sydney track a fortnight ago, and O’Shea is hoping their luck will change as they look towards the Queensland Winter Carnival next month.
“The key with him is to get him on a surface that is conducive to a good performance and most importantly a barrier that allows him to perform to his best,” O’Shea told RacingHQ.
“We definitely didn’t get that first-up in the TJ (Smith) and we definitely don’t have that on Saturday.
“He needs to continue to race and get some miles into his legs.
“Ideally, we would freshen post Saturday with a view to going to the Kingsford Smith (Gr.1, 1300m) and hoping we get a few things in his favour.
“He is actually going quite well, he just hasn’t had circumstances to suit him in any capacity.”
O’Shea will also be out for Group glory with fellow Kiwi-breds Avebury in the Gr.3 James HB Carr Stakes (1400m), Waihaha Falls in the Gr.3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m), and Lion’s Roar in the Gr.3 JRA Plate (2000m).
“Waihaha Falls is going to have to cop his medicine early and probably go back to last or second to last (from barrier 10), which is disappointing,” O’Shea said.
“He loves wet ground and 1200m at Randwick is his forte. He is in great form and if he got a bit of luck in running there is no reason why he couldn’t be in the finish.
“Avebury was just ineffective on the ground (Heavy9 last start). If you go back to her performance at Canberra (when winning the Listed Canberra Guineas, 1400m) she was fantastic, and that was more of a reflection of where she is at.
“We would be cautious about running her on anything worse than a Soft 5 or 6. If worse comes to worse, we can wait and go to Hawkesbury on Saturday-week.
“Lion’s Roar is early in the day and the barrier position (2) suits. He is getting up to his right trip. His first-up run was good. He didn’t handle the heavy ground, but he will handle the soft as well.”
While O’Shea is looking forward to watching his Group contenders, he believes the stable’s best chance of the meeting is Cotehele in the Petaluma Handicap (1400m).
O’Shea is taking plenty of confidence from the Tavistock gelding’s first-up form ahead of Saturday and is hoping for a bold performance from the four-year-old.
“He is probably our best chance of the day in the sense that he has got a frightfully good record first-up, he loves soft ground, and he loves on-speed at Randwick,” O’Shea said.
“If you go back to his first-up run last year in the South Pacific Classic (Listed, 1400m), he was probably a bit unlucky behind a really good field.
“On Saturday, Reece (Jones, jockey) will claim his weight down to 52kg and he will box seat or lead. He is in great form.”