John O’Shea sets sights on Kingsford Smith Cup

John O’Shea will stick to his plan to chase a weight-for-age double in Brisbane with Diamil despite a stronger than expected influx of class horses targeting Queensland.

O’Shea declared his intention to head north after Diamil’s determined win in the JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick as the race had historically proven a good form reference for the winter carnival features in Brisbane.

But he admits he didn’t count on bumping into the likes of top galloper Zaaki and Australian Cup winner Cascadian during Diamil’s two-pronged assault on the Hollindale Stakes (1800m) and Doomben Cup (2000m).

“It looks like being a stronger version of the Hollindale than we’ve seen for a long time,” O’Shea said.

“You’ve got the Australian Cup winner headed there, you’ve got Zaaki headed there and you’ve got Atishu headed there.

“That makes it look significantly stronger than what you’d expect a normal Hollindale Stakes and Doomben Cup scenario to be.”

Next weekend’s Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) will be held at the Sunshine Coast as the Gold Coast circuit undergoes refurbishment with the Doomben Cup (2000m) a fortnight later.

O’Shea’s luckless sprinter Lost And Running will also chase carnival riches and O’Shea is hoping he can turn his fortunes around.

The six-year-old missed his scheduled first-up run in The Galaxy due to a swollen pastern then drew the outside barrier when midfield in the T J Smith Stakes.

He again drew wide and was taken to the front in the All Aged Stakes but went too hard and knocked up.

O’Shea has regrouped and the Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m) at Doomben on May 27 will be Lost And Running’s next aim.

“He’s back in the stable on Friday and he will trial on the 15th (of May) before heading to the Kingsford Smith Cup,” he said.

“We’ve been happy with the horse all along but he hasn’t had any opportunity.

“It hasn’t been ideal but it will (change).”

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