Orujo is a type of brandy and John O’Shea might need a stiff one if the horse of the same name wins at Randwick on Saturday.
O’Shea has booked Hugh Bowman to partner the recently-gelded Orujo in the All Too Hard @ Vinery Handicap and juvenile, Stalwart, in the TAB Rewards Handicap.
Along with Blake Shinn, Bowman is challenging Godolphin’s stable rider James McDonald for the Sydney jockeys’ title and O’Shea might have been expected to give him a wide berth.
But with McDonald in England until next week, the trainer opted to secure the best riding talent that he could – even if it meant giving McDonald’s premiership rival a helping hand.
“My job is to put the best available rider on for Sheikh Mohammed,” O’Shea said.
“So if Hugh Bowman is the best available rider, Hugh Bowman rides.”
Orujo was competitive in top company last spring.
He finished sixth to subsequent Caulfield Guineas runner-up Rich Enuff in Listed company and fifth behind Angelic Light and Lankan Rupee in Group Two grade.
The three-year-old is proven fresh but O’Shea admits the heavy track rating is a concern.
“He’s a horse that had a few feet issues and we’ve gelded him,” O’Shea said.
“I’m keen to run him because he’s going well. Is he effective in heavy ground? No. But he probably needs to have a run.”
Orujo is an $8 chance behind another galloper that will be having its first start as a gelding, Inznout, who heads markets at $2.60.
Stalwart, a closing third to Surfin’ Safari last Saturday, is equal top pick for his assignment.
Article from justhorseracing.com.au