By Brad Gray
Godolphin-trained Hauraki launches his autumn assault in the Group One BMW Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on Saturday.
“He won first up last time at seven furlongs,” said John O’Shea. “1300m is a little short of his best, but he’s effective in the ground.”
“He’s going to take a couple of runs to hit his straps. Going into the Doncaster, third-up, that’s when he’ll really peak.”
Hauraki's first-up win last prep, beating La Romain
The royal blue will also be worn by Impending in the $500,000 weight-for-age feature and O’Shea is confident that the three-year-old can bounce back after a disappointing showing in the Southern Cross Stakes first-up.
“There were plenty of excuses for him. I thought he was on the worst part of the ground and he doesn’t like being cluttered up,” said O’Shea, who has booked Zac Purton for the ride.
“He didn’t have his blinkers on, which he has this week. A smaller field means he won’t get cluttered up and it looks like there’ll be a good tempo.
“We won this race last year with Holler and although it’s a stronger version of this race, Impending is a much better horse on face value and in terms of his form.
“He will be very adept in the ground and I think he’s improved dramatically since his last run.”
Impending's first-up sixth
Meanwhile, Malaise finds himself back in Sydney to tackle the Group One Randwick Guineas after a terrific run at Flemington last start with O’Shea chasing wet tracks for the son of Helmet.
“We’ve brought him up here to Sydney with the prospect of a wet track and at this stage it looks as though that’ll be the case.”
“He is a progressive young horse who we’ve thought quite highly of. He’s had a good foundation, I’m sure the mile at Randwick will suit him, he’ll take up a position and he’s a horse who can be in the finish.
“His work on Wednesday morning was first class.”