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Wet Randwick track no Malaise for O’Shea

The prospect of persistent rain in Sydney has not dampened John O’Shea’s enthusiasm for the $1 million Randwick Guineas.

While rival trainers James Cummings, Grahame Begg and David Brideoake kept options open by also accepting with Prized Icon, Land of Plenty and Hardham respectively in the $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday, the Godolphin kingpin is eager for Malaise to start on a wet track.

“We’ve brought him up to Sydney with the prospect of a wet track and at this stage it looks as though that’ll be the case,” O’Shea said.

Downpours in NSW have already forced the abandonment of race meetings at Kembla Grange and Warwick Farm this week and with Randwick classified a heavy 9 on Wednesday, that meeting might also be in jeopardy.

However, O’Shea was undeterred, talking up Malaise ($15) before he attempts to improve on a sequence of three consecutive second placings in what would be his Group One debut over 1600m, a distance he’s never travelled.

“It was a very good run at his last start at Flemington and his work on Wednesday was first class,” O’Shea said.

“He’s a progressive young horse who we’ve thought quite highly of. He’s had a good foundation, I’m sure the mile at Randwick will suit him, he’ll take up a position and he’s a horse who can be in the finish.”

At his most recent start on February 18, Malaise was runner-up in the Group Three C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) won by Hey Doc who is the favourite for Saturday’s Australian Guineas at Flemington.

Malaise’s only win of his five-race career – the Schweppes Maiden Handicap (1300m) last August – was on a heavy 10 track at Warwick Farm and similar track conditions are likely this weekend with 10-35mm of rain forecast for for Sydney on race day.

Tommy Berry was also upbeat after piloting Inference around a heavy Rosehill track on Tuesday tweeting the “went like he had flippers on”.

The Chris Waller-trained Comin’ Through heads the market at $4.50, followed by Inference and Man from Uncle ($6).

Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan’s hopes of securing her first Group One win in the Guineas hinge on a vet inspection on Thursday after heavy track fan Echo Effect ($8) sustained some bruising to his off fore foot on Wednesday morning.

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