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O'Brien: Shamus Not Making Up Numbers
Melbourne trainer Danny O'Brien is adamant that talented 3YO Shamus Award can figure prominently in Saturday's Gr1 WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley despite being the first maiden galloper to contest the race since Oxberry Way finished behind Red Anchor in 1984, reports horseracing.com.au. O'Brien says he had always planned on running Shamus Award in the Cox Plate, as long as he performed satisfactorily in both the Gr2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) and Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) which he believes he has. "At the start of his campaign we always hoped that he would progress to the Cox Plate," O'Brien said. "Obviously his two mile runs in the Stutt Stakes and the Caulfield Guineas would determine whether or not we got there and in both of them we just had a little bit go against us." O'Brien continued: "In the Stutt we ran second without much luck and the barrier draw probably cost us in the Guineas. We are hoping that his luck is starting to change." The Flemington trainer says he believes Shamus Award can be competitive with the right run in transit. "The Cox Plate always throws up surprises where everybody settles but I would certainly be hoping our guy is in the first four." Shamus Award is yet to win in 9 career outings but has been stakes-placed on 7 occasions.