Superstar Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira didn’t get the results for Godolphin on Golden Rose day but it isn’t the end of the association.
Trainer John O’Shea says Moreira is being considered for the Epsom Handicap mount on Sweynesse, who gets the chance to impress when he takes on the cream of Sydney’s weight-for-age horses in Saturday’s Group One George Main Stakes at Randwick.
Godolphin has yet to finalise its Epsom team but they are keen for Moreira to be part of the biggest day of the Sydney spring.
“We’ve got a couple of (jockey) options depending on how many we run in the Epsom but Sam Clipperton is on standby and Joao Moreira is on standby,” O’Shea said.
“It’s a very strong race (on Saturday), there’s no two ways about that. I just want to see Sweynesse run first four and if he does that he drops down to 52 (kilograms) in the Epsom and that brings him into a whole new light doesn’t it?”.
A star three-year-old in Sydney last spring, Sweynesse turned in arguably the best Cox Plate run outside the winner Adelaide with his fast-finishing and luckless eighth.
A mixed autumn followed with narrow seconds to Hallowed Crown in two three-year-old features offset by a down-the-track result in the Doncaster Mile when the horse was probably looking for the spelling paddock.
O’Shea kicked off Sweynesse’s spring in the Tramway Stakes and the horse was caught wide on the speed but raised a brief challenge before his condition gave out.
“We were happy enough with the way he went first-up. He didn’t have any luck in running and he needed the run,” O’Shea said.
“He’s had the run under his belt now, he’s made good improvement and he’s got a better draw this week.”
Godolphin’s No. 1 jockey James McDonald will be doing the steering on Saturday while Clipperton will ride the stable’s second stringer Hauraki.
The Australian Derby runner-up has tracked the same early-spring path as his stablemate but the pair will split after the George Main when Hauraki heads to Melbourne for the Turnbull Stakes and Caulfield Cup.
“He’s going along well he just needs a bit of racing,” O’Shea said.
Meanwhile, George Main runner Moriarty will undergo a vet inspection on Friday after trainer Chris Waller reported swelling to the horse’s neck.