John O’Shea has saddled up his final runner as a public trainer and the Darley incumbent’s farewell was a fitting one.
Winsomemore led throughout to score a comfortable victory in the Drummond Golf Handicap (1550m) at Canterbury on Wednesday just four days before O’Shea starts his new role as head trainer for Darley.
He won’t have any runners at Hawkesbury on Saturday and swaps his Randwick base for Darley’s Warwick Farm operation before first light on Sunday.
O’Shea was happy to sign off with a midweek win but in his typically competitive fashion said a Group One victory would have been sweeter.
Gypsy Diamond narrowly failed to deliver that when she was beaten a short neck in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes during The Championships.
“If Gypsy Diamond could have won it would have scripted a bit better,” he said.
“It’s obviously an honour to be taking up the position which is just about the No.1 training position in the world.
“Hopefully I can do it justice.”
O’Shea believes the three-year-old has the ability to continue his climb through the grades but the gelding’s future career will be steered by outgoing Darley trainer Peter Snowden who will take over most of O’Shea’s team.
Snowden will have his final runners for Sheikh Mohammed on Saturday while O’Shea spends the next few days preparing for his new job with his first runners for Darley set to be at Warwick Farm next Wednesday.
O’Shea is looking forward to the challenge ahead, mindful it is a big one.
“It’s all excitement. I’m not sentimental and I’m still going to be keeping relationships with the people close to me,” he said.
“It is a little bit daunting but Darley have great people and that is making it all easier.”