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O’Shea has French polish for Ajax Stakes

John O’Shea has not quite bid adieu to Floodlight’s chances to make a winning Australian debut at Rosehill, but admits the French import might just benefit from the run in the $200,000 Ajax Stakes.

The four-year-old launches his autumn campaign down under on Saturday at Group Two level and the Godolphin trainer didn’t disagree with the TAB quoting the new arrival at $17.

“He’s a genuine Group One staying horse but I think 1500 metres is well short of his best distance,” O’Shea said.

“As long as he’s hitting the line well, we’ll be more than happy.”

Floodlight, who is being aimed at the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, has three wins from eight careers starts in France, two at 1600m and one at 2000m.

O’Shea has higher hopes for six-year-old gelding It’s Somewhat ($8) although he has only won once first-up after a spell.

“He’s been a really strong campaigner for Godolphin for the last couple of years,” he said.

“He’ll need to run first-up but he’s in very good order and he’s in for another good campaign.

“We’ve got him a bit bigger than we’d have him normally because his main target will be the Doomben Cup (May 20).”

Godolphin’s No.1 UK jockey William Buick teams up with It’s Somewhat, in the last of his six scheduled rides on the day.

The 28-year-old was summoned as a replacement for Godolphin’s other European-based rider James Doyle who is nursing a broken hand and an injured knee.

Doyle was involved in a fall three weeks ago after arriving in Australia late last year to replace the disqualified James McDonald.

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