Shamexpress Returns Home
to Prepare for Spring Campaign
Such has been the tremendous record of Australian sprinters on
their many forays to Britain in recent years that it came as
something of a surprise when a raider from 'Down Under' failed to
cut any ice this time around.
Danny O'Brien's Shamexpress carried
plenty of hopes on his shoulders when journeying half-way around
the world to take in the big sprint events at Royal Ascot in June
and the July Cup at Newmarket, especially after leaving Australia
on a high following his last-gasp success in the Group 1 Lexus
Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March. In that race, he ran out
a brave short-head winner over Moment of Change.
Sent off a 12/1 shot in the racing betting for the Group 1
King's Stand Stakes over five furlongs at Royal Ascot, Shamexpress was
partnered by Craig Newitt who had flown in especially to take the
ride and was confident that the O'Reilly colt would run a big
Settled nicely in behind the leading group, the Aussie sprinter
came there with a chance inside the final two furlongs but faded in
the last 100 yards to eventually finish ninth - beaten
four-and-a-half lengths - by the Irish star, Sole Power.
With that 'pipe-opener' under his belt, better was expected at
Newmarket in the six furlong Group 1 July Cup where O'Brien's
charge was this time partnered by star French jockey, Mickael
Barzalona. But after again being held up and making headway to
reach a promising position, Shamexpress' effort
petered out and he came home seventh of the 11 runners behind the
impressive Clive Cox-trained grey, Lethal Force.
You don't know until you try and Shamexpress tried his
best in England but didn't quite make the grade. With a few months
rest and a return to home conditions, expectations among
betting pundits remain high that the talented four-year-old
will return to his best at Flemington's Melbourne Cup meeting in