Shamexpress Returns Home to Prepare for Spring Campaign

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 race.

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 November.