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Bondi Stakes: In-form trainer John O’Shea chasing a feature win this spring

The John O’Shea stable continues to record winner after winner this season with a 20 per cent strike rate, but now it’s time to win a big race at Randwick on Saturday.

O’Shea has long had his eyes on the $1 million Bondi Stakes (1600m) with Acrophobic and the day has come for him to perform after a series of good runs this time in.

He’s run third twice and fourth last start behind Peltzer in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m).

“This is the one race he’s been set for,” O’Shea said.

“I couldn’t be happier with how we’ve got him there and we’ll see if he’s good enough. It’s all up to the horse now.”

Peltzer is rated a strong $2.50 favourite for the second running of the rich race while Acrophobic is a $5 which is nice odds considering how strong her was behind Peltzer last time.

O’Shea has no doubts about his horse running a strong Randwick mile, but what about the favourite?

“It’s by So You Think but if you went on the run the other day, my bloke was going very well on the line and if it was 1520m it would’ve made it very interesting,” O’Shea said.

“My horse is going to get a very good run from the gate (1) and he can follow Peltzer and Elizabeel who is a very good filly.”

Acrophobic (right) ran third in the Stan Fox Stakes behind Peltzer. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

O’Shea’s been picking up races regularly but he’s without a big race this spring.

“We were just a shade off the Spring Champion and it would’ve been good to have won that but we’re firing bullets and hopefully we can hit the target on Saturday,” O’Shea said.

“The stable is growing each season.”

“I started in the inside of a doughnut in terms of horses so it was going to take time to build a quality team.”

O’Shea is giving his stayer Rondinella another crack at a spring win in the City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m).

He felt she was primed to do well in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) and Craven Plate (2000m) last start but wide gates have plagues her.

She gets barrier five and is rated a $5 hope behind Djukon who has been running in lesser races.

“She’s had no luck at any stage with her barriers and through pure frustration, after she drew poorly in the Craven Plate, the ownership questioned if we should ride her forward,” O’Shea said.

“It just didn’t work out for her and she had to work too hard to get across.

“If you go back to all her runs this time in they’ve all been acceptable from wide draws and now she has a good draw.

“I think there’s no reason why she couldn’t bounce back.”

If you’d been told Tommy Gold would resume a double figure odds ($12) when resuming in a small field you’d have been surprised given his last start win in May on the Kensington track when he stormed home to win.

But he has to beat the likes of Destination ($3), The Bopper ($3.30) and On The Lead ($4.40) in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m).

“It’s a Stakes race, I guess,” O’Shea said.

“We had him programmed to start earlier in the spring but it didn’t work out. He had a little bit of a cough so we had to back of him.”

O’Shea knows which is the one for Tommy Gold to beat.

“From my perspective, I think the market is wrong,” he said.

“For the life of me I don’t understand why the Freedman horse (On The Lead) is not favourite.

“Unless they’ve missed it, the race is actually over six furlongs and he’s the only horse that has six furlong form. And it’s not only six furlong form, it’s very good form.

“I’m happy where we’ve drawn (1). It might be a run too soon for him. I would’ve liked to have given him a race over the trip before we went to Saturday but he’s fit and well and it’s on his home track.”

Originally published asO’Shea has spring feature win on agenda

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