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Top colt Foxwedge narrowly missed out on a Group One win during the spring but he will be given the chance to rectify that in the major Melbourne sprints.

The winner of the Group Two Roman Consul Stakes, Foxwedge failed by a head to reel in benchmark colt Sepoy in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day.

But his liking for the straight course at Flemington has trainer John O’Shea planning a return trip early next year.

Foxwedge will soon begin a preparation aimed at the Group One sprint double of the Lightning Stakes (1000m) on February 18 and Newmarket Handicap on March 10.

“The people at the place where he is spelling are very happy with him,” O’Shea said.

“He will go to the Lightning and the Newmarket in Melbourne.”

While O’Shea has his sights on rich sprinting spoils with Foxwedge, recently acquired French galloper Caroun is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

By noted staying sire Montjeu, the three-year-old has won over 2400m in France where he was raced by the Aga Khan and trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre of Americain fame.

The French stayers have been proven adept under Australian conditions claiming the past two Melbourne Cups so it is little wonder O’Shea was keen to jump on board with Caroun.

Agent Damon Gabbedy bought Caroun on O’Shea’s behalf after coming up with a shortlist of six horses which O’Shea whittled down to two.

“I did some due diligence…. and there were two of the six which really excited us,” O’Shea said.

“One of them, we weren’t overly happy with the x-rays so we ruled it out.

“The other one (Caroun), we put a value on and we got him.”

Caroun will undergo a period of quarantine before heading to his new home and O’Shea doesn’t expect him to arrive at Randwick until February.

He plans to space his runs and target his races.

“With this horse, he will probably stay in work all year round and run once a month,” O’Shea said.

“I wouldn’t think he would be running until late June, early July, so a race like the Grafton Cup might fit in.

“We will go from there and probably progress into the spring, get some miles into his legs and hopefully he can be competitive in some nice races.”

O’Shea is best known as the trainer of outstanding milers Racing To Win and Private Steer but he has won a Sydney Cup with Jessicabeel (2010) and Metropolitan with Bedouin (2003).

He can’t wait to put his polish on Caroun.

“I’m very excited. I enjoy training stayers and he’s got a lovely pedigree,” he said.


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