O'Brien looks to future with sprinter

Australian sprinter Shamexpress may have drawn a blank on his two-race raid on the northern hemisphere, but trainer Danny O'Brien believes the horse will improve significantly as a result of his experience and is optimistic he can be a major player in the big sprints in Australia next season.

Shamexpress finished seventh of 11, beaten five lengths, behind Lethal Force in the July Cup (1200 metres) on Saturday. It was a second group 1 in a row for the front-running grey, who also Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Last month, Shamexpress finished out of the placings in the King's Stand Stakes at Ascot, but O'Brien says the colt has thrived on his travels.

"You might see him Cox Plate Day, and maybe the Patinack [Stakes] during Melbourne Cup week," he said.

"Everything here went 100 per cent, the horse settled here and thrived here, and probably he's run to his rating.

"I suspect if he was in this race with 52 kilos it probably puts him right in the finish. He has still got to find three or four lengths to win a big group1 like the July Cup, but I am not put off travelling at all. I would rather go here than Queensland.

"He's thrived and we will see the benefit of it when we bring him back to Australia in the spring."

Story by Michael Lynch, to view full Age Sport story click here

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