Saturday’s Group 2 Tramway Stakes at Randwick will help give trainer John O’Shea an ideal guide of just how high to aim with emerging talent Opacity this spring.
O’Shea is adamant his son of Ocean Park is a Group 1 horse and has nominated Opacity for this year’s Cox Plate but wants to see his classy galloper replicate his strong winter form before setting his sights to the top.
“If he can get through Saturday that should give us some indication of where we slot in,” O’Shea said.
“He’s had two quiet trials but we are just trying to keep plenty left in the tank for the later part of the spring.
“We are very happy with him.”
Opacity ended her winter prep with back-to-back wins. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
O’Shea has had the Epsom Handicap on his radar for some time and gained added confidence Opacity would be up to the Group 1 task after the gelding’s strong winter preparation.
Opacity put together back-to-back victories in Saturday grade to boost his record to five victories from seven starts.
Bookies now list Opacity as a $15 chance in the Epsom but it’s far from the only major on O’Shea’s radar with the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill and $5 million Cox Plate also worthy targets.
O’Shea felt it was the right year to throw in a Cox Plate nomination with his lightly raced talent.
“Obviously you are not going to have a horse like Lys Gracieux (due to COVID) which won the race last year and was one of the best horses in the world at the time,” O’Shea said.
“Secondly if he was to god forbid win an Epsom Handicap with 49kg then I would still consider running him because I think he is going to more effective at 10 furlongs.
“You have to put all these things in place at an early time in the year.”
Opacity’s last victory came in the first week of June before O’Shea gave his improving four-year-old a short let up leading into his spring assault.
“He did well in the paddock so we have had to do a bit with him in the interim,” O’Shea said.
“He is a happy horse going particularly well.
“He has improved since last preparation. He is never really that effective first-up but we have done enough with him to say he will be competitive.
“If he runs well we will be really happy.”
Brenton Avdulla will ride Opacity in the Tramway, where he is rated $10 with bookies.
Originally published asOpacity’s spring goals to be clearer after Tramway
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