A trip to Royal Ascot is on the cards for Shamexpress following his victory in the Lexus Newmarket Handicap
Last Updated: March 9, 2013 8:51am
A trip to Royal Ascot is on the cards for Shamexpress following his victory in the Lexus Newmarket Handicap at Flemington on Super Saturday in which Ortensia finished a well beaten twelfth.
The three year old upstaged his older rivals to become the fifth three-year-old in the past decade to win Australia's most prestigious sprint when he ran down favourite Moment of Change close home.
"We're London bound now....I'll be jumping on Qantas tonight and booking four business class airfares for the family," delighted managing owner Jeff Dimery said of his Royal Ascot ambitions.
Trainer Danny O'Brien said he'd consult with Dimery and his co-owners before making a final decision on Shamexpress' future plans, but made it clear that Royal Ascot would be central to those discussions.
The Flemington-based handler is no stranger to the meeting having campaigned Glamour Puss there in 2006 and Star Witness, who placed in both the King's Stand and Diamond Jubilee Stakes in 2011.
One thing is for certain, Shamexpress won't be taking on Black Caviar in the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday week, 22 March.
The O'Reilly colt did that in the Black Caviar Lightning on his previous start on 16 February and was well beaten by Australia's glamour girl after racing on the pace.
Ridden more conservatively by Craig Newitt, Shamexpress emerged late to win the judge's nod over Moment Of Change and outsider Aeronautical in a thrilling three-way finish.
"Craig just produced him beautifully and he really let go like a top class Group 1 sprinter," O'Brien told www.racingvictoria.net.au.
"That's the secret, to get a little bit of cover on him early. He was wanting to charge early but fortunately he (Newitt) buried him and when he did see daylight he really let go."
Newitt celebrated his second win in the Newmarket having piloted Miss Andretti to success in 2007 before combining with that mare for Group 1 glory at Royal Ascot later that year.
Three year olds also dominated the other feature race on the card, the Darley Australian Cup. Favourite and Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon could finish only fourth behind the Mark Kavanagh-trained Super Cool who became just the third winner from the classic generation to lift the 10 furlong contest.
Dulcify and Saintly (the previous two three year old winners) both won the Cox Plate in the same year as the Australian Cup success and Kavanagh hinted the $3 million weight-for-age championship would be where he was headed.
"To me he looks like a Cox Plate horse but he'll be nominated for everything (in Spring) and we'll see how we go," he said.