WA owners Keith Biggs and Rod Russell, who won the 1995 Caulfield and Melbourne cups with Doriemus, are within an ace of claiming their first international Group 1 with Sea Siren.
The businessmen boast a long and glorious partnership in racing and on Sunday their Fastnet Rock four-year-old Sea Siren is a strong chance to add a new chapter by winning the $1.9 million Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin.
Biggs had the opportunity to take Doriemus to the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai World Cup but declined the invitation on the advice of trainer Lee Freedman, who said the stayer was too light to handle such an epic journey.
Sea Siren yesterday drew ideally in gate seven, with reigning champion Lucky Nine in 12.
“She worked sensational on Tuesday and has settled in beautifully,” Biggs said.
“John (O’Shea) has flown up a manipulator to make sure she has no soreness issues.
“John said normally horses lose 8kg on a trip, but she lost 3kg and she has put more back on. She is just so relaxed nothing worries her.
“Having drawn seven is ideal.”
Jim Cassidy, who stopped Doriemus from winning a second Melbourne Cup on Might And Power in a head-bobbing finish in 1997, is Sea Siren’s regular rider and is shooting for his 96th Group 1 on Sunday.
The veteran was to ride against Zac Purton, who married Cassidy’s daughter Nicole at a ceremony in Sydney last Friday, but his ride, King’s Stand Stakes winner Little Bridge, was scratched yesterday.
A corn was found in Little Bridge’s near hind hoof.
O’Shea mapped out Sea Siren’s program for the Hong Kong Sprint in May, before her emergence as one of Australia’s best sprinting fillies with her Group 1 wins in the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000 in Queensland last winter.
Sea Siren beat Mental in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) first-up, before the placings were reversed in the Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) last month.