John O’Shea trained colt Ashokan has defeated short-priced favourite Raceway and the heavily backed Collect to win the Group 3 2012 Skyline Stakes at Royal Randwick today.
Left alone by the punters before the race, Ashokan went in as an $11.00 chance at bookmaker.com.au but he set an impressive pace in his second ever outing and was good enough to knock off the two favourites.
With John O’Shea’s other horse Shelford scratched from today’s race, Ashokan launched himself in to Golden Slipper contention after setting a good tempo and convincingly holding on at the back end of the race.
Leading jockey Jim Cassidy controlled him well after he shot out of the gates keenly in his first run with blinkers.
O’Shea said he had worked well in the lead up but insisted there is plenty left to learn.
“He’d shown every indication at home that he’d be competitive today,” he said.
“[Though] he’s still doing a little wrong.”
O’Shea said the Golden Slipper hopeful showed today he could match it with some good horses as prior to today Raceway sat as fourth favourite in the early Golden Slipper bookmaker.com.au market.
“He’s got very forward gate speed and if you happen to get conditions that have existed at Slippers over the last few years which have been quite rain affected, he’s obviously going to be competitive, ” O’Shea said.
Third-place getter Collect produced a solid effort and the Fastnet Rock colt signalled plenty of potential taking Raceway to a photo for second.
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2012 Skyline Stakes – Results
|1||3||ASHOKAN||John O’Shea||Jim Cassidy||–||7||55.5kg||$9.50|
|2||1||RACEWAY||Gai Waterhouse||Hugh Bowman||0.8L||11||55.5kg||$1.70F|
|3||5||COLLECT||Kevin Moses||Corey Brown||0.9L||10||55.5kg||$4.40|
|4||7||LIMES||Peter Snowden||Joshua Parr||3.7L||5||55.5kg||$17|
|5||8||HONORIUS||David Payne||Nathan Berry||5L||1||55.5kg||$71|
|6||12||HARD MARKER||Anthony Cummings||Blake Shinn||6.4L||2||55.5kg||$91|
|7||4||LYRIC||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||6.5L||9||55.5kg||$16|
|8||9||STRENGTH||John P Thompson||Michael Rodd||6.8L||8||55.5kg||$71|
|9||10||FIVEANDAHALFSTAR||Anthony Cummings||Luke Nolen||8L||6||55.5kg||$151|
|10||6||LORD DUVEEN||Clarry Conners||Peter Robl||14L||3||55.5kg||$15|
|11||11||DIAMOND COSTA||Anthony Cummings||Danny Nikolic||19.6L||4||55.5kg||$101|