After weeks of speculation, John O'Shea has been officially announced as the new head trainer for Darley in Australia. O'Shea will take over the reins of the poweful stable from Peter Snowden following the autumn carnival.

"It's an honour to be given this position to work for Sheikh Mohammed, there is a number of factors mainly being the quality of horseflesh and most importantly the security for my family," he said.

"The opportunity to work with Darley gives me the chance to move to a new level, bigger numbers and quality of bloodstock, it is the most coveted training position in Australia if not the world, it is an honour to be considered let alone to be given the position."

Darley Australia Managing Director Henry Plumptre said the decision to appoint O'Shea as Snowden's successor was quite easy given he fit a number of important criteria.

"Is this the worst kept secret in racing? 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 to get the right client for Shekih Mohammed, and ultimately decision the boss has come to the decision that John is the right man for the job," he said.

"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.

"John is relatively young and has 10 to 15 years before we wear him out, his knowledge of Sydney, the fact that he has won Group 1s in Melbourne, fantastic family behind him, all of these things are a big part of what Darley does, part of our culture, part of our goals and aspirations here."

O'Shea will remain in control of his current team throughout the autumn carnival and no decisions have yet been made as to who will train the likes of Savvy Nature and White Sage once he makes the move in May.

"It is hard to walk away from the current set up, but there are positive all round, I’m going to get to look at Guelph everyday, that is not a negative," he said.

"There is a few issues we have to address in the decision process but ultimately with consultation with people that I hold dearly and value their opinion, we all came up with the same approach, that this is an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m honoured to be given that opportunity."

O'Shea is expecting his move to Darley to take time and signalled he has no intention of altering what is a highly successful establishment.

"I think for the first six or seven months they will be teaching me more than I’m teaching them," he said.

"it’s a system that has been system from Vic Thompson, through to John Hawkes and on to Peter Snowden.

"There is no way I would be wanting to tamper with an extremely successful system, we are very lucky that the existing people will stay on hopefully, hopefully they will educate me in the mannerisms of the stable, we will just hopefully keep it up to the very high standard that Peter has kept it at.

"I was lucky enough to spend a day with Sheikh Mohammed last week, it was one of the most enthralling days of my life.

"I got to drive around in a vehicle with him in the desert, chasing endurance horses for a couple of hours, we had some quality time with him John Ferguson and Ollie Tait.

"I got to see what a passionate horseman he is, he has a great knowledge of horses, extremely charismatic person, I’ve trained for people who have built various things, now I’m going to train for someone who has built a country."

Plumptre said he expected dialogue between Snowden and O'Shea in the coming months to ensure the smoothest transition as possible.

They tell me that when Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United that he walked out on Friday and David Moyes walked in on the Saturday morning, I don’t think it will be exactly like that because there is a bit of information that Peter will want to transfer to John and I’m sure that it will be a very smooth transition," he said.

"Obviously there are little things about the Crown Lodge operation that we think make the system what it is, and I know what sort of person Peter is, he will be talking to John about those things, in terms of hands on training, it will be one day out, the next chap comes in the door the next day, basically training race horses is like football managers, people who know what they are doing, they don’t need a lot of lead up time." (