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O'Shea down but not out after Hong Kong
Mandy Cottell
17:37 AEST Thu Dec 13 2012

The scars of Sea Siren's unsuccessful Hong Kong mission are still fresh but they haven't dimmed John O'Shea's enthusiasm to campaign horses overseas.

The Randwick trainer was shattered when his three-time Group One winner finished ninth in the International Sprint after a near-perfect lead-up.

The race didn't pan out as well after she struck interference coming out of the gates which made her over-race and forced her to travel wide.

It was O'Shea's second major disappointment in Hong Kong.

Three years ago he took Racing To Win there for the Mile but the grey was injured in the run and never raced again.

Sea Siren has also emerged from her Hong Kong experience battle scarred, although the damage is superficial.

"She's got a few bruises, a few cuts and abrasions. A black eye. She could have pulled up a bit better," O'Shea said.

Sea Siren will spend time in quarantine before returning to be prepared for the TJ Smith Stakes during the Sydney autumn carnival.

O'Shea said it was too soon for connections to entertain thoughts of taking the mare to Royal Ascot.

"Obviously, we're just a bit stunned. It's not the right time to ask us now but the reality is, I'd like to overcome the challenge of winning in Hong Kong," O'Shea said.

"It's an achievable thing to do and it's something, going forward, I'd like to continue to do, is to travel horses.

"We had a good bit of success in Melbourne this year and obviously now the challenge is to travel them internationally.

"But you've got to be a little resilient because no matter how good your preparation is, to have the wind knocked out of your sails straight away is disappointing."

The Hong Kong Sprint has been a bogey race for Australian-trained gallopers since Falvelon followed back-to-back wins in 2000-2001 with a third the following year.

Royal Ascot winner Miss Andretti failed to make an impact in 2007 while Apache Cat was beaten into third as an odds-on favourite in 2008 before finishing midfield 12 months later.


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