O'Shea off the Rails

Trainer John O’Shea has described the decision by the Sydney Turf Club to have the running rail out six metres for Saturday’s Rosehill meeting as "unacceptable".

JohnOShea The rail position restricts the field sizes to 13 for the Group Two Hobartville Stakes (1400m) which has 20 nominations and 12 for the Group Three Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) which has attracted 21 entries.
The O’Shea-trained stakeswinner Pravana and stablemate Lustre Lady are both likely to start in the Millie Fox but the Randwick horseman said there were plenty of other autumn carnival horses who would miss out and that it was not right.
"It’s unacceptable to have the rail at six metres when we need all these horses getting runs, we’re complaining about field sizes and to cop this is completely unacceptable," O’Shea said.
O’Shea added that the rail position would also create bias.
"There’s no doubt, and for Pravana who is a backmarker it’s going to make it very hard.
"They’ve got three weeks to get this track ready before the Coolmore and if that’s not enough time well I don’t know what is."
Track manager Lindsay Murphy said all trainers were notified of the rail position a couple of months ago.
"We’re always out, generally there are less nominations in those races than we have encountered this year," Murphy said.
Meanwhile, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Rock Kingdom warmed up for the Hobartville Stakes with an exhibition gallop over 1200 metres at Canterbury on Tuesday when he matched strides with stablemate Kingda Ka.
Stable representative Tania Rouse said the gelding, who has won five of his seven starts, is on track for the race.
"That hitout will top him up nicely, he’s going really well for us and we’d be disappointed if he’s not right in the finish," Rouse said.
Also pleasing for the Waterhouse camp was Tuesday morning’s work from Golden Slipper favourite More Joyous who runs in Saturday’s Group Two Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m).
"She worked brilliantly, we’re not getting too carried away just yet but the work showed us that she was ready for a big run," Rouse said.

By Russell Jackson