By John Schell
John O’Shea will send a couple of strong chances to Hawkesbury on Tuesday with high hopes on continuing a strong run of form.
O’Shea will have last start Goulburn winner Countyourblessings ($2.30 equal favourite on TAB) in the Workers Lifestyle Group F&M Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m), while debut performer Silver Cliff ($3.80 fav) will contest the Irresistible Pools And Spas Super 3YO Maiden Handicap (1100m).
“Countyourblessings found a nice race to resume in at Goulburn the other day and she did everything she needed to do to win,” said O’Shea.
“She was very short and a couple of scratchings helped her cause but she won as expected.”
Chad Schofield was aboard in the Goulburn victory and he retains the ride at Hawkesbury, while Tommy Berry will ride Silver Cliff in her event.
“Silver Cliff is a very nice filly,” said O’Shea. “She’s had two barrier trials and she’s won both of them in very good style.
“She won the first of them at Hawkesbury back in September then won the latest of them at Randwick last month.
“She’s drawn well enough and Tommy sticks with her so I’m expecting a good run.”
Form trainer Joseph Pride will also have runners at the Hawkesbury meeting with a few leading chances.
Pride will have Threatening ($23) in the XXXX Gold Maiden Plate (1400m) with Rory Hutchings taking the ride. He will also have last start fourth placegetter Eastern Front ($15) in the same race as Silver Cliff with Sam Clipperton taking that ride.
Field Marshal ($6) will round out the Pride team when contesting the Clarendon Tavern C,G&E Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m) with Jason Collett in the saddle.
“Threatening ran well enough at Wyong on debut,” said Pride. “He wasn’t beaten too far and he should be improved on that.”
Eastern Front comes out of the same race as Threatening leading into his Hawkesbury race, and Pride is confident he has also taken benefit from the last start effort.
“Eastern Front ran well the other day,” said Pride. “He came from off the speed and hit the line well.”
Pride said he expects Field Marshal to run well: “He’ll be improved by the first-up run,” he said.