O'Shea looking to turn up heat during autumn
CHRIS Waller, Gai Waterhouse and Peter Snowden may be dominating the Sydney trainer's premiership, but John O'Shea thinks he could be a major player during the autumn carnival.
The Randwick conditioner is in fourth place with 14 wins, a long way behind third-placed Snowden whose runners have saluted 36 times (plus a dead-heat) in the 2012/13 season.
O'Shea saddled up three winners at Friday's Randwick barrier trials, with Steps In Time, Wahlberg and Twisted Emotions all getting home first.
Steps In Time won a 1050m open heat in faster time than champion mare More Joyous, O'Shea saying the Danehill Dancer mare was primed for her best preparation.
"She's come back in great order and we'll be sending her to the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 16 first-up," he told racenet.com.au.
"The trip to Melbourne last spring has really helped her develop and I'm going to target the Coolmore Classic third-up with her."
The five-year-old was unplaced in two starts in top company in Melbourne after taking out the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) on her home track in September.
O'Shea said a change in trackwork rider has assisted in the mare's transformation.
"Her old trackwork rider left us, but she has formed a terrific bond with her new one and that's made her a happier horse - the results are starting to show," he said.
O'Shea's also said he expected Wahlberg and Twisted Emotions to turn in "some creditable performances" in coming weeks.
He said Wahlberg would resume at Canterbury on Friday night and would prove "hard to beat", while Twisted Emotions would be aimed at the Australian Derby.
"His trial win has provided us with some confidence and I think he's going to make a lovely staying conveyance," O'Shea said.