Danny O'Brien becoming the go-to man for colts

Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien is fast being recognised as a super stallion maker after his latest retiree, Shamexpress, headed to Windsor Park Stud in the Cambridge district of New Zealand.

The time-honoured nursery has set a service fee of $NZ18,400 ($17,100) for his debut season.

Shamexpress, last year's VRC Newmarket winner and son of NZ leading sire O‘Reilly, is just one of three fine performers out to make their mark in the highly competitive breeding industry, the others being Star Witness (Starcraft) and Shamus Award (Snitzel), which are both at Widden Stud.

O’Brien’s knack of preparing a colt to compete at the highest level and then go to leading studs is borne out by the three above gallopers, which won just on $5 million collectively in their careers that finished as three-year-olds. O'Brien's roll of honour with the trio included the Cox Plate, Caulfield Guineas, Newmarket, Coolmore Stakes and the Blue Diamond – all great feathers in his cap.

O’Brien never held back regarding his thoughts on Shamexpress, and Windsor Park’s Rodney Schick echoed the trainer’s beliefs. “After viewing Shamexpress, I could not be further excited about him, Schick said. "He’s a beast of a stallion, with the physique and strong genetic profile necessary to be a success.”

Windsor Park has a great history of breeding racetrack superstars, including the likes of Might And Power, So You Think, Sky Chase, Descarado, Nom De Jeu, Catalan Opening and Sir Slick to name a few.

Shamus Award was retired just a fortnight earlier than Shamexpress and his service fee at Widden is $27,500, including GST. The son of Snitzel has already attracted strong support from breeders throughout NSW.

Story by John Holloway, to view full Age story click here

Photos by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here