Patient Approach Could See Linebacker Score

John O’Shea has taken a carefully considered approach to the autumn with promising colt Linebacker and he is hoping it pays dividends in the coming weeks.

O’Shea has so far resisted the temptation to tackle some of the better two-year-old races with the youngster, whose only appearance was a four-length maiden win at Hawkesbury in February.

Finishing closest behind him was Bosustow, who franked the form with his subsequent placing behind Traffic Warden in the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

O’Shea said Linebacker had been given a quiet time since his win, kept up to the mark with a recent barrier trial as the trainer looked to keep the colt on fresh legs for Saturday’s Group 3 Baillieu (1400m) at Rosehill.

“We’ve been trying to duck and weave,” O’Shea said.

“He had a week in the paddock and then a bit of steady time out at our farm at Hawkesbury.

“We gave him a trial so he’s good.”

O’Shea has all but ruled out a start in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) for Linebacker, happy to avoid the Golden Slipper runners heading to the second leg of the juvenile triple crown.

However, he does have his sights on the final leg, the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 20 when he hopes to have his horse peaking as several rivals reach the end of their juvenile campaigns.

“We’re ducking and weaving again. We are hoping they beat each other up,” O’Shea quipped.

“That’s the hope. I don’t know if it will work.”

With Kerrin Mcevoy sidelined by injury, Tommy Berry has picked up the Baillieu ride on Linebacker after putting the colt through his paces in a trackwork gallop earlier this week.

He has drawn barrier one and will have 12 rivals, including a trio of Godolphin gallopers led by Reisling Stakes placegetter Silmarillion and Tulloch Lodge youngster Anode.

O’Shea will have up to five runners at Rosehill on Saturday, headlined by Athabascan in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m).

– RAS NewsWire

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