Racing To Win not done with yet
O’Shea concedes Racing To Win is nearing the twilight of his career but he is adamant the multiple Group One winner still packs enough punches to give the Hong Kong Mile a mighty shake.
The Randwick trainer has been in stellar form in recent weeks producing exciting youngster Ambers Waltz for an impressive debut victory on Saturday, a week after Solar Charged signalled her Golden Slipper credentials with a commanding five length win.
While the pair look to be stars of the future, seasoned stablemate Racing To Win has nothing left to prove.
O’Shea’s stable stalwart has been competitive at the highest level season after season, despite battling niggling injuries throughout his career.
Next Sunday at Sha Tin he will break new ground when he lines up in the Group One Hong Kong Mile (1600m).
Fittingly, Racing To Win will be O’Shea’s first international runner and the Randwick horseman is excited.
"I am actually. It’s something I’d really like to continue to be able to do," he said.
"The race is definitely there to be won. I’ve had a good look at the field, there are horses in the race who haven’t even won a Group One.
"I thought the horse to beat was Good Ba Ba.
"I watched his run the other day and it was a really good leadup run going in to any race."
Racing To Win had a mixed spring, scoring one of the best wins of his career in the Theo Marks Stakes before disappointing in the George Main Stakes and Toorak Handicap.
He bounced back for a solid fourth to Scenic Shot in the Mackinnon Stakes and did enough to earn an invitation to the Hong Kong International meeting.
Now a seven-year-old, Racing To Win has won five Group One races and was at the peak of his powers three years ago when he claimed the Doncaster-Epsom Handicap double.
O’Shea would have loved the opportunity to campaign his grey star in Hong Kong when he was in that vein of form but equine influenza put paid to his plans.
"We wanted to take him during EI, he would have given them a short back and sides then," O’Shea said.
"No doubting he’s at the end of his career but he’s been going good all preparation and he did rate one of his career-best performances this year in the Theo Marks.
"We just had a couple of little aberrations post that but his Mackinnon run was excellent.
"He’s been racing in the top races in Australia, the Mackinnon was a very strong race.
"He loves the Strathayr (surface) and he does like a mile right-handed so he gets a couple of ticks there."
Racing To Win arrived in Hong Kong last week and has settled in well according to O’Shea, who will fly over later this week to put the final touches to his preparation.
The Sydney star will be one of four Australian gallopers in action at the International meeting along with All Silent, Apache Cat and Scenic Blast who will clash in the Hong Kong Sprint (1200m).
By Mandy Cottell