Shamexpress has settled in well at Newmarket ahead of the G1 King Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
The Kiwi-bred sprinter looked in good order when paraded for the British media late last week. He earned the away trip after capturing the G1 Newmarket Hcp (1200m) with a well-timed finish in March. “He travelled well and is a really happy horse,” O’Brien said. “We have had our eyes set on Ascot since his win in the Newmarket. He will be fresh but is in really good shape.”
The Flemington based colt defeated Linton in a barrier trial at his home track a week before embarking and the grey came out and won the G1 Stradbroke Handicap. “They both worked well that day and it was great to see Linton win the Stradbroke,” O’Brien said. “Hopefully we can do the same.”
Shamexpress (3c O’Reilly – Volkrose by Volksraad) was a $130,000 buy at the 2011 NZB Karaka Sale and has earned $780,000. He’s by Waikato Stud champion O’Reilly and is a three-quarter bother to G3 winning filly O’Reilly Rose. Further back, it’s the family of G1 Caulfield Cup winner Affinity.
Shamexpress (NZ) will not back up in the G1 Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot next Saturday. O’Brien is keen to save the horse for the G1 July Cup at Newmarket.