Looking out for Debutant Daumier at Newcastle

4 min read

By Anthony Manton

There has been a positive early betting move for a well-bred John O’Shea trained first-starter at Newcastle on Friday in race six, the 2-year-old Beaumont Handicap over 1400 metres.

Daumier (Tavistock {NZ}) was first posted at odds of $17 when TAB markets first went up on Wednesday afternoon and was quickly into $7. Early betting confidence suggests he is one to watch.

The stable appears to have kept Daumier largely under wraps for his debut after two barrier trials.

Daumier first trialled at Randwick on February 18 over 1045 metres and finished a close-up 4th behind Evening Slippers (Snitzel) who had chased home Golden Slipper aspirant Time To Reign (Time For War) at her only race start in the Kirkham Plate at Randwick in October.

The second barrier trial for Daumier, despite finishing ninth of ten, has caught the attention of astute form judges. Over 900 metres at Rosehill on March 1, Daumier drew an outside barrier and was immediately restrained to the back of the field to settle last in the trial and was never let go at any stage, going to the line under his own steam.

Trainer John O’Shea suggested the quiet trial was by design as the horse was due to back-up under race day conditions just a week later.

“We had this race at Newcastle picked out and it was only a week between the trial and Friday’s race so I didn’t want to give him a hard trial so close to race day”, said O’Shea.

Daumier was sold at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale in June

Highly regarded yearling

Daumier was a $250,000 yearling purchase for Champion Thoroughbreds at the 2018 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale. He is the second foal from dam Lithograph (USA) (Echo Of Light {GB}). Lithograph is a half-sister to dual French stakes-winner Lawspeaker (Singspiel {IRE}) and a daughter of stakes-winning mare Forum Floozie (NZ) (Danasinga), a half-sister to Champion six-time G1 winner Starcraft (Soviet Star).

John O’Shea and Jason Abrahams from Champion Thoroughbreds identified Daumier as a horse they wanted to purchase during a trip to New Zealand at the end of 2017, but had to wait a little longer than first thought to secure the colt.

“We identified him as a horse we wanted to buy during a trip to New Zealand in December 2017 and went to Karaka in early 2018 to buy him but for whatever reason, he was withdrawn from the sale”.

“A few months later he bobbed-up at the Gold Coast at the winter [National Magic Millions Yearling] sale and we were lucky enough to walk away with him”, said O’Shea.

Daumier (NZ) as a yearling

O’Shea was particularly taken by the presence and attitude of Daumier as a yearling, with scope for him to develop into a high-class middle-distance horse.

“He’s a very imposing colt with a great attitude and given time he’s going to develop into a lovely 3-year-old”, said O’Shea.

Large track to suit

Kicking off at 1400 metres on the spacious Newcastle circuit looks suitable for Daumier, whom O’Shea says has already performed above expectations.

“At this stage, he’s already ahead of where I thought he might be and has exceeded our expectations to get to the races so early”, said O’Shea.

Daumier has drawn barrier ten for jockey Josh Parr and O’Shea would like to see the horse drift back from the gate.

“If he can get back and hit the line strongly we’ll be happy with that for his first start,” said O’Shea.

Daumier’s sire Tavistock (Montjeu {IRE}) won twice at Group 1 level in New Zealand, before retiring to Cambridge Stud. He stamped himself in the 2015/16 season as a serious sire of Classic winners, siring the Group 1 Victoria Derby winner Tarzino (Tavistock {NZ}) and the Group 1 Australian Derby winner Tavago (Tavistock {NZ}). He is perhaps best regarded as the sire of champion Hong Kong galloper Werther (Tavistock {NZ}), a four-time Group 1 winner in Hong Kong.

Despite having a pedigree that suggests Daumier may be a Derby type as a 3-year-old O’Shea believes the colt will be better suited over slightly shorter journeys.

“Long term he’s probably more of a Spring Champion [Group 1 2000 metres] horse as a 3-year-old, he might be a bit too brilliant for a Derby but time will tell”, said O’Shea.