Trainer hoping Summer Sham proves to be the real deal
DANNY O'Brien is hoping his Group 2-winning filly Summer Sham can launch a lucrative late-season raid on Super Vobis riches before tackling some high-end mares races in the spring carnival.
A winner of three of her four starts, including the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes in February, Summer Sham resumes at Caulfield on Saturday and O'Brien has three of the incentive races in mind before she turns four.
She would then be given a light let-up before returning for some more black-type races in October and November.
O'Brien said he was pleased with his well-performed daughter of Not A Single Doubt and expected her to run well, even though she would gain further improvement from the run.
"She is obviously a class filly," O'Brien said on Friday.
"She is going to give them all a bit of weight, but she has a good draw and she is going to put herself in a great spot.
"I do expect her to improve out of the run. She has only had one jump-out - it was a good jump-out (at Flemington), she went nicely."
O'Brien is keen to extend Summer Sham out to 1600m by her third run this campaign, which will culminate with the final metropolitan meeting of the season.
That will give him a better gauge of potential spring targets for his horse.
"She was ready to go for the last month of the season, so we thought why not?" he said.
"She's a Victorian Vobis and Vobis Gold horse, and we have such a great incentive scheme now that if she wins (Saturday) it is $87,000 to the winner.
"She will go to a 1400m race in two weeks' time, and then to the (1600m) Vobis race on July 28."
Summer Sham would then have "a good fitness base" to attack the second half of the spring, with O'Brien keeping his options open and likely to be guided by how she handles her first trip at 1600m next month.
"We will aim her towards the mid or later part of the spring," he said. "We will look at the good mares' races over 1400m or potentially the mile."
Having bought about 30 yearlings at the sales earlier this year, O'Brien is eager to see how some of them - as well as his two-year-olds - progress in the coming months.
"We are really pleased how we have bounced back so quickly over the last six months or so," he said.
"The horses are winning at about 20 per cent (strike rate) and you can't do much more than that."
He also has Another's Bullseye and Berkshire Lady running at Caulfield on Saturday.