Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien says Cox Plate winner Shamus Award is forward enough to win Saturday’s Group 1 C.F Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The 3-year-old resumes in the Orr after creating history in the spring, becoming the first maiden to win Australasia’s weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley.
O’Brien expects another headline-grabbing performance from his stable star.
”He’s there to win. It’s a group 1 race. He’s not using it as a warm-up. He’s ready to win.
“He’ll improve, obviously, going forward but we won’t be making any excuses for him,” O’Brien told AAP.
”He’s a colt going first-up into a 1400m race and he’s an on-speed horse.
”If you are going to be running on in a 1400m race, you could probably have them a little bit underdone.
“But when you are going to be on the bunny, you are going to have to be reasonably close to your top.
O’Brien’s ultimate aim with Shamus Award is the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on March 1.
VRC Derby winner Polanski also kicks off his campaign in the Orr Stakes, after trialling solidly at Cranbourne last week.