Conor in good order for campaign-opener

Conor O’Ceirin will contest the Majestic Horse Floats Handicap (1400m) at Trentham on Saturday. Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

Stakes performer Conor O’Ceirin will take his first steps toward upcoming feature race targets when he resumes at Trentham on Saturday.

The seven-year-old has a tidy first-up record and trainer Robbie Patterson is expecting the gelding to give another strong account of himself in the Majestic Horse Floats Handicap (1400m).

Stablemate Shameless Boy will also return from a break in the Manawatu ITM Steeplechase Day Tomorrow At Woodville Handicap (1200m) and the unbeaten galloper is in good shape for the task ahead.

Conor O’Ceirin is coming back from a lengthy break but has been given a thorough grounding and is a four-time winner off a break.

“He galloped super yesterday (Thursday) morning and the rider got off and said he would be very competitive,” Patterson said.

“He has trialled up really well, we know he’s got plenty of ability and he’s a bold sort of horse, so I can’t see why he won’t go a good race fresh-up.

“There is a bit of race day fitness in that race but there’s no reason why the big fellow won’t be right there.”

Conor O’Ceirin has won both of his open trials at Waverley and Foxton ahead of his Trentham assignment, in which Courtney Barnes will guide his fortunes from an inside barrier.

“He’s had a jump-out as well and has had some good work at home, so he won’t be too far away,” Patterson said.

Conor O’Ceirin’s future goals are the Listed Sinclair Electrical Opunake Cup (1400m) at New Plymouth on July 20 and the Group 3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton a fortnight later.

The son of Dial A Prayer, who has six career victories to his credit, finished third in the Winter Cup during his last campaign and also has a placing in the Group 3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) on his resume.

Meanwhile, Shameless Boy will bid to keep his unbeaten record intact following wins at Otaki and New Plymouth earlier this year.

“It’s a step up and with topweight it won’t be easy, but he’s won on heavy ground before and he’s got the ability,” Patterson said.

Apprentice Lemmy Douglas’ claim will bring the three-year-old’s impost down to 58kg.

“We’ll put the blinkers on him and he’s probably only trialled up average, but he’s very laid back,” Patterson said.

“At the trials, we don’t use the stick on him but when you do he digs in, and he’s a horse that when you just leave him alone he’ll pull up.

“The blinkers will keep him sharp and with the couple of kilos off we hope it will do the trick. He’s pretty forward after those trials and a jump-out.”

Further success will also force potential suitors to dig deeper for the son of Shamexpress.

“He’s for sale so if he was to win, he could end up offshore, but we’ll take it run by run,” Patterson said.

Shameless Boy is a younger brother of stablemate and recent Hawera winner Catherinenz with the pair raced by breeder Roger Blunt, a Waikato dairy farmer.

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