O’Shea hoping for more Success at Randwick races

John O’Shea is sweating on an improvement in track and weather conditions as he prepares to assemble a quality team for the Chipping Norton Stakes meeting at Randwick.

O’Shea is hoping to saddle up at least six runners on Saturday, including Maximal in the Group 1 showpiece, but says several of his squad are doubtful if the track doesn’t improve from its heavy 8 rating.

While Promise Of Success (Guy Walter Stakes) and Nolan (Skyline Stakes) will both line up regardless, most of Maximal’s best form has been on good tracks while stablemate Quantico, who is scheduled to resume in the Liverpool City Cup (1300m), has failed at his only two attempts on soft ground.

Last-start winner Mr Gee and the resuming Robodira, who have both been accepted for benchmark races on Saturday, would also be in doubt if conditions didn’t improve.

“We’re hoping that the ground will get to soft,” O’Shea said on Sky Sports Radio.

“If we could have a day or two where we didn’t get a deluge and we could get to a soft six or seven, he’d (Maximal) still run because he is desperately in need of the run.

“The other query would be Quantico. He would be doubtful on really wet ground, Mr Gee would be doubtful and probably Robodira. I wouldn’t want her on ground that was too heavy first-up.”

Maximal finished sixth from a wide draw at his Australian debut in the Golden Eagle before failing to beat a runner home when he resumed in the Apollo Stakes won by Think It Over.

O’Shea has blamed himself for that performance and has made a critical gear change for Saturday.

“Ideally, Maximal we would like to run on Saturday and then run him in the Australian Cup,” O’Shea said.

“He had a bit of a negative performance first-up which was by no fault his, more the trainer. We made a frightful error of judgement and we will rectify that by taking the blinkers off this week.”

Maximal is one of six Randwick rides for comeback jockey Brenton Avdulla, who this week celebrated his first win since his return from injuries suffered in a race fall in August when successful on the O’Shea-trained Champions League at Kembla Grange.

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