John O’Shea has produced a two-year-old who has stamped his claims to get the former Godolphin trainer back to the top with his debut victory in the Inglis Nursery at Randwick.
O’Shea has ambitions to get the China Horse Club-owned Irish Bet to the 2018 Golden Slipper but first the colt will have to earn his way there because his first prize in Saturday’s $500,000 race doesn’t count towards the race in March.
But for now O’Shea is just happy Irish Bet has lived up to his opinion as he rebuilds his business after his resignation from Godolphin earlier this year.
Ridden by Brenton Avdulla, Irish Bet, the $5 favourite, travelled in the first half of the 13-horse field and produced a strong-finishing sprint to beat Ragged Rascal ($13) by 1-1/4 lengths with Canyonero ($11) anothere short neck third.
Early leader Miss Invincible ($5.50) weakened to finish ninth.
“It’s nice to get a horse of this quality,” O’Shea said.
“He will be straight to the paddock on Monday for a short break and then we will get him ready for a race like the Skyline Stakes to get him to the Slipper.”
Avdulla said the colt was professional even though it was his first start.
“John didn’t give me any instructions. He basically said ‘execute well’,” Avdulla said.
“So he jumped good, he travelled comfortably behind the speed and I had a lot of horse coming to the corner so I just wanted to get myself out of trouble and got into the centre of the track
“He’s a really nice colt and he’s come along really quickly.
“He’s doing the right things.”
Mossfun (2013) and She Will Reign (2016) went on to win the Golden Slipper in the autumn after their wins in the Inglis Nursery while the 2015 winner Extreme Choice went on to claim the 2016 Blue Diamond Stakes.