Trainer John O’Shea saw little option but to send tough stayer Berdibek around with a whopping 66kg on his back at Rosehill this Saturday as he puts the finishing touches on a country Cup tilt.
Berdibek will carry 6kg more than his nearest rival Maserartie Bay and 4kg more than any other horse on the 10-race program when he’s saddled up in the Elite Sand & Soil Benchmark 78 Handicap (1800m).
O’Shea sees the difficult assignment as a crucial stepping stone as he prepares to target the striking grey at the $200,000 Listed Grafton Cup on Thursday week.
“It’s more out of necessity,” O’Shea said.
“The programming for open company stayers isn’t ideal at this time of year and he needs another run before we take him to Grafton for the Cup.
“He is to go around and I think the short turnaround will suit him.
“He has to run the 2300m and we didn’t want him to go two-and-a-half weeks between runs going into the Cup.”
Berdibek is rated a $19 outsider with TAB fixed odds with Kerrin McEvoy booked to ride.
While the big weight will make winning difficult on Saturday, O’Shea has no issues with the form of Berdibek heading in.
The son of Dark Angel produced a strong last start effort to come from the back to grab second in the Listed McKell Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on June 19.
“The horse is flying,” O’Shea said.
“The evidence is there by his run the other day and he hasn't gone backwards.”
O’Shea also has Sound Of Cannons running in Sydney and expects the stayer will be more effective ridden with a sit on Saturday, while the stable also has two runners bound for Flemington.
Kirwan’s Lane, which was also an acceptor in Sydney, will line up in the $160,000 VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final (1600m).
Kirwan’s Lane will be sent to Flemington. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
The classy four-year-old was beaten as favourite when third in a mile event at Randwick last start but O’Shea expects he will get conditions to suit in Melbourne.
“He just doesn’t handle wet tracks,” O’Shea said.
“His wheels were spinning the other day when he had a big weight.
“This week he is well placed with no weight with 54kg, he will get a dry track and he’s got a good draw in barrier 1 so he should run well.”
Three-year-old Don Archangelo is hunting back-to-back wins and a third victory in his past four starts when he contests the G.H. Mumm Mahogany Challenge Final (2500m).
“He is a nice horse with a bright staying future,” O’Shea said.
“I think physically he was a bit behind but this preparation has helped him and he looks well placed here.”
Kirwan’s Lane and Don Archangelo are both rated $6.50 chances.
Craig Williams has been booked to ride both horses but has been forced into isolation for 14-days after riding interstate and they will likely need a replacement.
Originally published asO’Shea stayer to carry 66kg at Rosehill
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