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O'Shea Has Spring In His Step About Bartolf

By Ray Hickson

John O’Shea already has a spring target pencilled in for impressive debut winner Bartolf in what’s a small indication of the ability the promising colt is showing.

Trainer John O'Shea (Pic: Steve Hart)

That race is the Group 2 $1 million Callander-Presnell (1600m) run in late October.

Bartolf was the first runner, and winner, under the John O’Shea and Tom Charlton partnership when he scored easily on debut on a heavy track at Scone earlier this month and he’ll aim to make it two from two in the TAB Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

“He’s been a nice horse all along and for a So You Think to be winning at two is indicative he has a nice bit of ability,’’ O’Shea said.

“I think, ultimately, he will be a good miler. It’s always a challenge going to Saturday grade straight away but like I said we think nicely of him and we’ll give him the run and pop him out for a short break.”

The two-year-old is a half-brother to O’Shea’s Group 3 mare Jal Lei and ran right up to his $1.75 starting price in winning what was a provincial race run at Scone.

O’Shea said his trials leading in suggested Bartolf, $4.20 with TAB on Wednesday, would take beating on debut and he’s done nothing but please in the time since.

“We were keen to run him at Newcastle where the meeting was initially programmed, primarily to give him a chance to get himself organised on a big track,’’ O’Shea said.

“Without knowing the form of the opposition, that’s the most relevant thing, I just think he’s a nice horse and is capable at this level.

“He’s definitely trained on from the run, the step to 1400m from a nice soft draw and the jockey is acceptable you’d say.”

That last comment was tongue in cheek of course referring to Nash Rawiller, who is trying to make a dent in James McDonald’s lead in the Sydney Jockeys Premiership before the champion jockey returns from illness.

O’Shea and Charlton will likely send stablemate Kenmare Bay to Newcastle for his first outing, instead of clashing with Bartolf, and he says the gelding is a name to remember for the second half of the new season.

Though he concedes the 1200m on debut may be a bit short for him.

“He’s bred to run a mile and a half and he’s hopefully a Derby horse for us in the autumn,’’ he said.

“We’ll get some miles into his legs now and latter part of the spring then we’ll see if we can get him out in trip in the autumn."

Captain Amelia opened double figures in the I Love 0% Cocktails Handicap (1400m) but O’Shea warned against overlooking the filly who is going better than her form shows.

He says barriers have cruelled her chances in a number of her 13 starts, and they may do again on Saturday, and that means she’s regularly giving away too much start.

The three-year-old was only beaten 2-1/4 lengths in running fifth in the Group 1 Flight Stakes in the spring so O’Shea says he knows the ability is there.

“She can draw a wide gate and it’s not different this week,’’ he said.

“She’s having to be ridden significantly further back that we’d like pretty much her whole career. One day she will draw a gate and if she doesn’t shy at the inside running rail, she’d be a chance.

Bartolf wins at Scone on July 2

“I wouldn’t be too hard on her, she does have ability. We think she’s a nice filly and I was very happy with her run two ago.

“Jase (Collett) wasn’t as happy with her the other day, we think she didn’t handle the ground that well but there’s varying degrees of heavy too.”

In that race, on June 8, Captain Amelia started $4.40 and finished tenth behind War Eternal.

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Randwick meeting

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