Shamus Award Dominates Australian Guineas

Racing's list of one-hit wonders is long, but W. S. Cox Plate (Aus-I) upsetter Shamus Award emphatically removed himself from that roster when recording a second group I hit March 1 in the Australian Guineas (Aus-I) at Flemington.
 
The 3-year-old son of Arrowfield Stud resident Snitzel led most of the 1,600-meter (about one-mile) Guineas trip, setting a moderate pace before scoring a one-length triumph from Criterion, with Thunder Fantasy 1 1/4 lengths back in third in the 14-horse field. 
 
It took about the first 200 meters for Shamus Award to get into stride and reach the front under Craig Williams, but once in command he outpaced Eurozone for much of the trip. Eurozone was at the winner's flank at the top of the straight, but ultimately finished fourth, being overtaken in the closing stages by late runners Criterion and Thunder Fantasy.
 
Hucklebuck, the 3-1 favorite, was never a threat in an eighth-place finish.
 
Shamus Award covered the distance in 1:36.41 on turf rated as good, taking his record to 2-3-5 from 12 career starts. In a smashing upset as a maiden, the colt won the Cox Plate, Australia's weight-for-age championship, scoring by a nose at 21-1 odds after making all the running.
 
Though winless entering the Cox Plate Oct. 26, Shamus Award was nonetheless a high-class runner and he was sent off the 4-1 second choice in the Guineas. He finished third Beck Caulfield Guineas (Aus-I) Oct. 12 and also was a second by a nose in the Moonee Valley Bill Stutt (Aus-I) the previous month. He came into the Australian Guineas off a third-place behind Moment of Change and Eurozone in the C. F. Orr Stakes (Aus-I) Feb. 8 at Caulfield.
 
Trainer Danny O'Brien said for Shamus to have completed the Cox Plate and Australian Guineas double was a rare feat, and indeed, he is the first 3-year-old to score the double the same season.
 
"We are definitely looking to the Cox Plate as a 4-year-old for him," O'Brien said.
 
"His sire Snitzel is heading towards champion sire, so to have won this double was very important to Shamus Award as a stallion."
 
Shamus Award was bred by Robert Hannon of Ascot Park at Pitt Town, New South Wales, and is campaigned by Ultra Racing and G and C Pastoral Co. He is out of the winning Success Express mare Sunset Express. 

 

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