Shamexpress (left): won the prestigious Newmarket Handicap in MarchPICTURE: Getty Images
Newitt eyes second King's Stand with Sham
TOP Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt, who rode Miss Andretti to win the King's Stand Stakes in 2007, rates his chances of a second victory in Tuesday's race with Shamexpress.
Trained by Danny O'Brien, the three-year-old won the prestigious Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March on his most recent start and is a best-priced 12-1 chance for Tuesday's Group 1 contest, won by Australian-trained horses four times in the last ten years since Choisir opened the door in 2003.
Shamexpress, whose compatriot Sea Siren runs in the Diamond Jubilee, also had a barrier trial - a full-scale racecourse workout from starting stalls - up the Flemington straight on May 31 before being shipped to Newmarket, where he has reportedly settled in well.
"Obviously it is exciting to know that he's travelled and settled in really well because that was my only concern with him," said Newitt, 28.
In his recent trial, Shamexpress posted a scorching time to beat Linton, who went on to win the Grade 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
"The form out of the trial has stood up really good and I thought he trialled equally as impressively as he did before he won the Newmarket," Newitt said, speaking to Racing Victoria.
"As far how the horse has been working, I don't think he's ever been going any better."
Shamexpress is unlikely to run in the Diamond Jubilee, his trainer preferring to take a longer view and target the Darley July Cup.
As for his jockey, he hopes his previous experience of Royal Ascot will stand him in good stead, saying: "I don't know whether having been there before helps with the preparation, but it's good to have been there before so you know what you're going to be up against."