John O’Shea is no stranger to winning the Coongy Cup on Caulfield Cup day and is convinced he has a leading chance again this year.
O’Shea has trained two of the past four winners of the 2000m-Group Three race and has last-start Craven Plate winner It’s Somewhat lining up as the favourite on Saturday.
O’Shea prepared Lightinthenite to win the race in 2012 when he was still a public trainer, while subsequent Group One winner Contributer made a winning start to his Australian career for O’Shea and Godolphin in 2014.
O’Shea has described this year’s Coongy as a wonderful race for It’s Somewhat who took out the Craven Plate over the same distance at Randwick by almost five lengths in a field of four.
“I think the way the race pans out suits him,” O’Shea said.
“There’s a bit of speed obviously with Lee Freedman’s horse (Tom Melbourne) and The Cleaner, and I think if he can roll forward and get on their backs in the first part of the race, that sort of galloping race suits him.
“He’s just in good form.”
It’s Somewhat was at $2.70 on the eve of the race ahead of Maurus ($4).
The Robert Smerdon-trained Maurus goes into the race after a three-length second to Real Love, the $7 second favourite for Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.