Kirwan’s Lane might not be the best horse in John O’Shea’s Randwick stable, but he is a winner and will take the crown of Sydney’s most successful horse for the season if he can land the Winter Challenge at Rosehill on Saturday.
Other horses have won more prizemoney – Everest winner Classique Legend leads the way there – but Kirwan’s Lane is looking for a fifth win over two preparations since September last year that would cap a graduation from the midweeks to the final listed race of the season.
“He is a good horse,” O’Shea said of the four-year-old. “I have always held him in high regard, but it’s a good effort to win that many races.”
There are more than 50 horses that have won three races in Sydney, including group 1 winners Hungry Heart, Kolding, Eduardo, Verry Elleegant, Forbidden Love and Montefilia, but only nine have extended that to four. Harpo Marx and All Time Legend will try to join that group at Rosehill tomorrow, and it shows how tough it is to put together a series of wins in Sydney.
Kirwan’s Lane is coming back from a disappointment in the Winter Championship at Flemington last start and gets in with 54 kilograms for another shot at a black-type race.
“He was always a bit of talent. We just needed to take our time and work him out,” O’Shea said. “He’s getting better all the time, and I think he will be a Villiers horse come the summer. I think we have found a good race for him on the weekend, being a horse on his way up, and it is a good test for him at the end of the season.“
Kirwan’s Lane has been made the $5 favourite in front of Winter Stakes placegetter Order Again and True Detective at $5.50, while Countofmontecristo, Ziegfeld and Cisco Bay are on the next line at $7 in a wide-open 1500m contest.
O’Shea and Chris Waller, who has had So Wicked, Kiku, Mubariz and Oscar Zulu on four wins, are the only trainers to have more than one horse at the top of the city winners list.
O’Shea’s other galloper with four wins is Everest-bound Lost And Running, which has returned to the stable and continued to improve as a rising five-year-old.