Cotehele to shine in the Five Diamonds Prelude

The trainer-jockey combination of John O’Shea and Tom Sherry has already celebrated a black-type double this spring and at Randwick on Saturday they will chase a $1 million payday.

Having combined to win the City Tattersall’s Club Cup and Colin Stephen Quality with Melbourne Cup hopeful Athabascan, the pair team up with Cotehele in the Five Diamonds Prelude (1500m).

Sherry has been riding more frequently for O’Shea over the past few months and the Randwick horseman says it is reward for the jockey’s hard work.

“Tommy has a good work ethic,” O’Shea said.

“I quite like the way he rides, he is still learning to get to the top level, but he is working hard and that’s an endearing quality.”

Sherry has also built a strong partnership with Cotehele.

He has ridden the horse seven times for two wins and three placings, including a last start second to Cepheus in the Alan Brown Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.

Cotehele’s best performances have been when he is ridden cold and allowed to unleash his devastating finishing sprint, but O’Shea says that is contingent on his rider getting the race right.

“He just needs his jockeys to make the right choices at the right time,” O’Shea said.

Cotehele holds an entry for next month’s $2 million Five Diamonds (1800m) at Rosehill, although having never raced beyond a mile, he will be entering new territory if he presses onto the feature.

O’Shea said the fact the race was at Rosehill, a track where Cotehele has missed a top-two finish just once in five runs, is appealing.

“I haven’t stretched him to the trip before but the fact it’s at Rosehill, it’s a track that really suits him,” He said.

“We’ll get through Saturday and go from there.”

O’Shea saddles up Lion’s Roar in the day’s other feature, the Big Dance Wild Card (1600m) and believes the horse is going well enough to be in the finish, provided he can overcome an awkward draw in barrier 14.

“He loves the mile so hopefully he can offset that gate,” O’Shea said.

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