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From hum­ble be­gin­nings in Mareeba, John O’Shea (pic­tured right) has put in the hard yards to be at the top of his game in Aus­tralia’s horse rac­ing world. O’Shea has trav­elled a long way from muck­ing out boxes for lo­cal train­ers to be­ing ap­pointed prin­ci­pal trainer in Aus­tralia for Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum’s su­per-sta­ble Godol­phin in 2014. O’Shea played rugby league for Queens­land as a school­boy and went south to study jour­nal­ism, but a love of horserac­ing was in his blood. O’Shea moved to Syd­ney in 1995 and got his trainer’s li­cence four years later. He served his ap­pren­tice­ship un­der Tommy Smith as well as com­plet­ing stints with Bart Cummings, Gai Water­house and Garry Moore. In this year’s Mel­bourne Cup he trained hot favourite Hart­nell who came third. He now has his sights set on the Vil­liers Stakes in Randwick next week.

Mareeba prod­uct Ben Hamp­ton shows his prom­ise early in an Un­der-14 game against Cairns Broth­ers. He is now signed with the North Queens­land Cow­boys.

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