John O’Shea has pinpointed Sydney’s latest pop-up race, the $2 million The Big Dance, as a long-term goal for Hawkesbury Gold Cup winner Kirwan’s Lane.
The winner and second placegetter at Scone will be eligible for a start in The Big Dance and O’Shea sees the new race as an ideal goal for the consistent Kirwan’s Lane.
“We are going to Scone and hopefully we can run one-two there and get into The Big Dance,” O’Shea said.
“We really look forward to participating in that race on Melbourne Cup day.
“I don’t think he was overly comfortable in the ground (on Saturday), but he goes good enough to get through it.
“He has a great second-up record, loves a mile and loves (apprentice) Tom Sherry.”
Kirwan’s Lane started at $7 and the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) gave him his ninth career-win and first at black-type level.
The gelding enjoyed a beautiful run trailing the speed for Sherry, who steered him to the centre of the track in the straight where he surged to the front and kept finding.
He defeated Hopeful ($21) by a length with Atishu ($19) running her best race for some time in third.
Sherry is now unbeaten in three rides on the five-year-old, who he was initially concerned might have hit the front too soon.
“At the top of the straight, I thought it was only a matter of time before he let down,” Sherry said.
“Perhaps we hit the front too soon and he was hesitant to go on with the job as he thought his job was done, but he responded really well to the pressure.
“It was a tough win.”
French import Hopeful was making his Australian debut for Annabel Neasham and despite racing greenly in the straight he hit the line strongly, auguring well for his future.