John O’Shea confident heading into Scone Cup

John O’Shea is heading to the Scone Cup confident he has two live chances, even though both will need to set a weight-carrying record to win.

The Randwick horseman saddles-up Berdibek, who will lump topweight of 59kg, and the in-form Kirwan’s Lane who has a kilo less.

Only four of the past 16 Scone Cup winners have carried 56kg or more with Speediness (2013) and Newton’s Rings (2008) sharing the weight-carrying record of 57.5kg.

However, given the race has a 54kg minimum, O’Shea is happy enough with Berdibek’s impost and he is equally unconcerned about the backmarker’s wide draw on the spacious circuit.

“Technically, he is only five kilos above the minimum so with a 54 minimum, it’s not that big a weight really,” O’Shea said.

“He’s going well. He’s a good miler and I don’t think the draw (18) will be a disadvantage.”

Kirwan’s Lane has also drawn awkwardly in gate 15 but has been racing in tremendous heart, winning three of his past four starts.

He was spelled after landing back-to-back victories during the summer then followed a first-up fifth behind Our Playboy at Randwick by enhancing his strong second-up record with a determined win in the Hawkesbury Cup.

While he rises three kilos on that effort, he has proven he can lump hefty handicaps in the past and O’Shea sees no reason he can’t continue his winning vein of form.

“For a small horse, he has shown a capacity to handle good weights,” O’Shea said.

“I’m really happy with him.

“He won two in a week at Randwick and then he went to the paddock. He ran very well first up and then he has banged up another win so he’s going along well.”

The $200,000 Scone Cup (1600m) is the feature on the opening day of the two-day carnival and has attracted a capacity field.

Rustic Steel, who backs up after winning The Coast at Gosford last Saturday, is a $5 favourite while Kirwan’s Lane ($6.50) and Berdibek ($10) are both regarded as chances in an open race.

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