Things are picking up for trainer John O’Shea who is building a strong carnival team with fears he may go out of business allayed.
The Randwick trainer was rocked a couple of weeks ago by a Court of Appeal ruling that he pay around $500,000 damages and costs to horse owner Humberto Vieira after originally winning the case in December 2010.
A yearling in which Vieria bought a 70 per cent share was classified with a “low risk” problem known as cystic lucency in a hind leg but this fact was not passed on to Vieria.
The case has sparked calls for all horses to be given passports which document their lives from birth not just when they are in training.
The financial burden from the ruling threatened to bankrupt O’Shea but he said he was now working on payment options and was optimistic about the future.
“It has to be finalised legally but I am in the process of formulating a plan to trade my way out of it,” O’Shea said.
“It looks as if we will be able to structure something.
“The support and help I have been given from people in the industry has been overwhelming.”
Helping the cause was Saturday’s win by Ashokan in the Skyline Stakes which guaranteed the colt a berth in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper on April 7.
O’Shea withdrew Shelford from the Skyline because of the wet track but he and stablemate Faustus, runner-up in the Black Opal, will run in the Todman Stakes on Saturday to stake their Slipper claims.
In-form mare Steps In Time will carry the stable’s Group One hopes at the Rosehill meeting when she lines up in the Coolmore Classic (1500m).
The front running mare has won all three starts this campaign with her most recent a devastating performance in the Listed Wiggle Stakes where she beat Foxstar by 4-1/2 lengths.
“She’s excellent,” O’Shea said.
“I couldn’t be happier with her and she goes to the Coolmore.”
O’Shea’s other Group One hopes this week rest with Foxwedge in Friday night’s William Reid Stakes where the colt will be up against a similar field to the Newmarket where he finished third behind Hay List and Buffering.