John O’Shea isn’t afraid to take on star colt Sepoy with Saturday’s Group Two Roman Consul Stakes winner Foxwedge, adamant his charge is a better chaser.
Jockey Nash Rawiller was forced to take Foxwedge ($1.85 fav) to the front in the 1200m Randwick sprint when nothing else in the small field wanted to lead.
The colt wasn’t comfortable in the frontrunning role but his class shone through and he dug deep to stave off the late bid of Masthead by a short neck.
O’Shea confirmed the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 29 was the next goal for Foxwedge, setting up a clash with Sepoy who was a brilliant winner of the Manikato Stakes against older horses at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
“I’m not detracting from Sepoy, I’ve got no illusions about the enormity of the task but Foxwedge is a better chaser,” O’Shea said.
“He wasn’t comfortable at any stage today, he just got going when something came at him.
“There won’t be that issue at Flemington, he’s going to be a long way in front the chestnut (Sepoy).”
O’Shea heaped praise on Rawiller and said the top-class hoop was often the difference in a close finish.
“He is the difference,” O’Shea said.
“When Nash levels up and he’s breathing down your neck he’s pretty much got you.”
The victory by Foxwedge gave Rawiller an early double after he took out the Breeders Plate aboard the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pierro.
Masthead ($4.40) chased gamely to just miss while the Bart Cummings-trained Do You Think ($11) ran his best race this campaign for third another half-length away.
Do You Think had disappointed over 1500m at Moonee Valley last start so Cummings dropped him in distance and brought him to Sydney.
He will return to Melbourne for a rematch with Foxwedge in the Group One.
“He likes the six furlongs (1200m) and there’s another one for him in a couple of weeks,” Cummings said.
“He will go back to Melbourne for the straight six race on Derby Day.”