The quality of European formlines boasted by recent recruit Sound Of Cannons has given John O’Shea every reason to be optimistic about the import’s future in Australia.
The four-year-old will make his debut for O’Shea in the $500,000 Rosehill Gold Cup (2000m) on Saturday after being purchased by Terry Henderson’s OTI Racing.
The Randwick trainer has been pleased with how Sound Of Cannons has settled in but he is even more impressed by some of his performances overseas.
The horse finished fourth to English King in the Listed Derby Trial at Lingfield in June and a start later was fifth to multiple stakes winner Pyledriver in a Group Two race at Ascot.
“He ran behind English King, who just got sold for a million pounds, and he ran fifth to Pyledriver who is nearly Europe’s best three-year-old this year,” O’Shea said.
“He’s run in very good races since he was a young horse, he’s stakes placed, he’s run in a Group One race.
“I thought he was a horse where a change of scenery would really help.”
Sound Of Cannons has been placed on soft ground and O’Shea does not expect him to have any trouble handling the wet conditions at Rosehill.
He gets in on the 52kg minimum with Robbie Dolan booked to ride.
“We’re adamant he’ll be effective in the ground and he’ll be effective with 52 kilos,” O’Shea said.
“It’s a good opportunity for him to start his career in Australia.”
With the scratching of early favourite Purple Sector, Nimalee has been promoted to the top of TAB fixed odds markets at $4.60, ahead of wet track specialist Wu Gok at $5.50.
Sound Of Cannons is a $23 chance.