Karaka graduate Shamexpress (NZ) produced a winning trial down the Flemington straight on Friday morning in readiness for his trip to Royal Ascot.
The winner of Australia’s premier sprint in the Newmarket Handicap, Shamexpress is being aimed at the G1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) on June 18.
Shamexpress (3c O’Reilly – Volkrose by Volksraad) will be gunning for a (NZ) double in the King’s Stand following Little Bridge (Faltaat) last year.
Trainer Danny O’Brien was very happy with the colt ahead of his flight to England next Wednesday. “It was great to get him on the course proper and see him open up a bit down the straight,” he said. “The horse really needs to be race fit when he gets on the plane and that will bring him right up to the mark.
“We missed the Sydney and Queensland carnivals so we could have him 110% focused on England and everything has gone to plan. We just need to get the travelling out of the way now.
“He will arrive in England 13 days before the race so for the first week he will just find his feet and acclimatise and I will give him a serious piece of work four or five days before the race.”
O’Brien is no stranger to the pressure of Royal Ascot having taken Glamour Puss (NZ) and Star Witness to the famous meeting and believes that experience can help him capture an elusive victory at Royal Ascot
Shamexpress was a $130,000 buy from Beltana Stud at the 2011 NZB Karaka Sale. He is a three-quarter bother to G3 winning filly O’Reilly Rose and, further back, it’s the family of G1 Caulfield Cup winner Affinity.
O’Brien has enjoyed some of his most successful wins with Waikato Stud champion O’Reilly highlighted by Master O’Reilly (G1 Caulfield Cup), Shamrocker (G1 AJC Derby) and Vigor (G2 Makybe Diva Stakes).
O’Brien trained Waikato Stud homebred Glamour Puss (Tale of the Cat) to G1 triumphs in the VRC Salinger Stakes and SAJC Goodwood Hcp. She was unplaced in the 2006 King’s Stand Stakes and Golden Jubilee Stakes.