The next phase of John O’Shea’s stable rebuild is being rolled out in the coming weeks as he targets some of the better off-season races with a progressive group of horses.
O’Shea has adopted a slow and steady approach since he relaunched his career as an independent trainer after a three-year stint with Godolphin.
And his patience is beginning to pay dividends.
He did not have the firepower to feature during the Sydney autumn carnival, so O’Shea has adjusted his targets and will unveil several of his up-and-coming brigade in the weeks ahead.
Among them are fillies Intrepidacious and Rocha Clock, who line up in separate races at the Randwick Kensington meeting on Saturday.
“I didn’t have any horses that were fundamentally good enough to participate during the autumn carnival so I just targeted everything to be coming on post-carnival,” O’Shea said.
“Consequently, we’ve got some nice horses coming through. Unfortunately, we haven’t drawn the best barriers but all the runners are in very good order and I couldn’t be happier with them.”
Rocha Clock is the early favourite for the Ranvet’s Power Formula Handicap (1300m), a grade drop after she finished down the track behind Rubisaki first-up in Group Three company.
She will be ridden quietly from a wide draw but O’Shea fears she might have to get too far back from the gate.
“I’d suggest the barrier has made it very difficult to win on Saturday,” O’Shea said.
“But we’re happy with her and she will give a good account of herself then head to the Inglis Guineas in two weeks and hopefully draw a bit better.”
The Scone stand-alone meeting, transferred to Rosehill this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, is also on the radar for Intrepidacious.
The three-year-old contests Saturday’s Inglis Broodmare Sale 10 May Sprint (1100m) and like Rocha Clock, has to contend with a wide alley.
But if she performs to expectations for jockey Rachel King, a shot at the Listed Denise’s Joy Stakes (1100m) awaits.
“We’re really happy with her. Her trial was good the other day and her work was first class on Tuesday morning,” O’Shea said.
“The machinations of the race probably aren’t going to suit us. There needs to be good speed and she’s got a frightful draw so it doesn’t look as though she is going to get the best run in transit.
“But as long as she gives a good account of herself and Rachel is happy with her, then we can head off to the Denise’s Joy in two weeks time.”