Sydney horseman picked to take the reins after meeting Sheikh Mohammed in Dubai.

John O'Shea has been confirmed as the new trainer for Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Australia, replacing Peter Snowden.

O'Shea has been the front runner since Snowden announced his intention to step down after the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

He will run Darley's Sydney stable, while a foreman will be appointed to handle the Melbourne arm, which is currently overseen by Snowden's son Paul.

O'Shea has been training since 1999 and led in the first of 18 group one winners when Shot Of Thunder won the 2002 Toorak Hcp at Caulfield.


The trainer recently travelled to Dubai to meet Sheikh Mohammed, who runs a global racing and breeding operation spearheaded by Godolphin in Europe.

"Sheikh Mohammed recently met John O'Shea in Dubai and John was able to appreciate that he will be working for a horseman with a thorough understanding of the thoroughbred business," the sheikh's bloodstock adviser John Ferguson said on behalf of his boss.

"Sheikh Mohammed confirmed that following Peter Snowden's decision to move on from Darley next year, his horses will continue to be in good hands."

"The opportunity to work with Darley gives me the chance to move to a new level," O'Shea said.

"It is the most coveted training position in Australia if not the world."

Darley Australia's managing director Henry Plumptre said the process to find a replacement for Snowden had been thorough.

"Is this the worst kept secret in racing?" Plumptre asked.

"I'm not sure whether it is, or whether it isn't. The process was a long process and it was something worth going through painstakingly ... and, ultimately, the boss has come to the decision that John is the right man for the job.

"There are a number of criteria that John fulfils, being Sydney based and being very competitive in the Sydney premiership year in year out has been a big factor."

Plumptre said a replacement for Paul Snowden in Melbourne would come from within the Darley organisation.