JOHN O’Shea considers himself lucky to have been given the job of driving Dream To Share in this year’s Soldiers Saddle series and given what the gelding did on Wednesday night, it’s easy to see why he feels that way.
Contesting the second of the 1,730 metre semi-finals at the Bathurst Paceway, Dream To Share was more than six lengths off the pace down the back straight, but worked four wide through the final bend before swooping to the lead.
The Amanda Turnbull trained five-year-old then ran away from his rivals over the last 150m to win by 9½m.
It was a run which should see Dream To Share start as one of the favourites for the December 15 decider.
O’Shea said he will “have to ask the boss” in regards to if he will be in the gig for that final, but he was happy just to have got the job done on Wednesday while Turnbull was busy at a Shepparton meeting.
“She’s a lovely, quiet little horse. Anything Amanda has in her stable goes good, so it’s a pleasure to drive for her,” O’Shea said.
After placing second in his Soldiers Saddle heat a week earlier in a run that saw the Kenneth J x Hear The Cheers gelding checked, he started as the $3.20 second elect for the semi-final.
O’Shea had to contend with a barrier 11 draw and eventually settled towards the rear in ninth spot.
Ahead of him Presidential Dude held the lead as Oberon driver Justin Reynolds searched for his second victory of the night, having picked up a win aboard Always Mysterious earlier in the evening.
Presidential Dude clocked splits of 29.5 and 29.9 seconds to lead the field on the bell and into the back straight for the final time.
Heat winner Little Bit Dusty came three wide to lob into the death seat, while Lethal Promise was in the trail and Taylors Reason one out and one back.
As they ran past the 650m mark the moves started from the rear, O’Shea amongst those who decided the time was right to go hunting for the lead.
Though Dream To Share was forced wide on the track, O’Shea did get some luck in running as his chance surged to the lead.
“The two [Presidential Dude] holding up tonight and not letting Taylors Reason in worked in my favour tonight,” he said.
Dream To Share went on to post his second win from five starts this season, clocking a 1:57.7 mile rate. Second went to Zaras Choice ($24.70), with Sonny Studleigh ($12.50) a further 2¾m back in third.
THE SADDLE FINALISTS: Redbelly Jack (Michael Xuereb), Double Encounter (Harry Martin), Might And Main (Bernie Hewitt), Studleigh Kristen (Leigh Davis), Eliza Dushku (Amanda Turnbull), Hez All Courage (Bernie Hewitt), Dream To Share (Amanda Turnbull), Zaras Choice (Steve Turnbull), Sonny Studleigh (Leigh Davis), Little Bit Dusty (Bernie Hewitt), Presidential Dude (David Reynolds), Taylors Reason (Bernie Hewitt).