Trainer John O’Shea has big hopes for Waihaha Falls after his win over 1500m at Rosehill on Saturday.
It was the second time in five starts the son of Sacred Falls carried Waikato Stud’s colours to victory, previously winning on the Kensington when on debut in March.
“He did a good job. It’s only his second run this prep, and fifth career run,” O’Shea told RacingHQ.
“Hugh (Bowman, jockey) was very happy with him and said he still has a lot more to learn and offer down the road.
“He is still learning his craft.”
While O’Shea believes the four-year-old gelding has a bright future in store, he said they will take a patient approach with him.
“We have just got to go through the grades and get some runs on the board and teach him to be a racehorse,” he said.
“Over the next 12 months we will try and find a goal for him.
“Ideally he may end up a Villiers horse next year but what we do in the interim will depend on how he progresses.”
While the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) is a possible target with Waihaha Falls next year, O’Shea is hoping to have a contender in this year’s edition at Randwick on Saturday with fellow Kiwi-bred Kirwan’s Lane.
The Charm Spirit gelding holds nominations for both the Group Two and the Benchmark 88 Mile, but O’Shea is leaning towards the former where his charge will carry 54kg if he gains a run.
“He has met Ellsberg once and beat him, and Ellsberg is the favourite in the race (Villiers),” O’Shea said.
“Our bloke has got a really good record over the mile at Randwick.
“You wouldn’t want it too wet. To be fair he is probably out of the handicap at 54kg, but if he draws a gate and he gets a run, we will give consideration to it. Either way Hugh (Bowman) is going to ride him in the other race.
“He is not an overly big horse, so we will just be mindful of his weight at this stage. I would like to give him a chance in the Villiers, I think he will give a good account of himself.”
O’Shea is also hoping to line-up New Zealand-bred Blesk on Saturday over 1400m.
The Savabeel five-year-old is in a purple patch of form, having won and placed twice in his three starts this time in.
He hasn’t raced since his runner-up effort at Rosehill on November 6 and O’Shea is keen to give him a run this weekend if conditions suit.
“I am desperate to run him, he is in great form,” O’Shea said.
“He has had a bunch of wide gates and wet tracks. We will see what Saturday brings and when he does get to Randwick I see it as a perfect trip for him.”