O'Brien's big team for Flemington

Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien will saddle up a big team of runners on his home course this weekend for Craiglee Stakes day.

O’Brien is likely to have seven runners on the card including staying mare Demerger, who resumes from a spell over a mile in the feature race.

She hasn’t raced since running below par in the Sydney Cup but the stable believe she failed to handle the reverse direction.

Following her 2005 Adelaide Cup win the mare spelled and returned in last year’s Craiglee Stakes, running a good race to finish seventh behind Confectioner.

Last campaign she was a first-up winner with a big weight in mares grade before winning later in the autumn over 2500m in the Group 3 Queens Cup.

The mare has 51kg for this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup where Sportingbet have her at $67.00.

O’Brien will let her form guide the way this campaign but along with the Cup races such as the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and SAAB Quality come under consideration.

The stable also saddle up Valedictum in the Group 3 Bobby Lewis Quality (1200m) and are hoping for better luck than his first-up Aurie’s Star 13th with knocked over by El Segundo.

Valedictum races in last year’s Bobby Lewis and finished a close-up fifth. He is being aimed at the Group 1 Dubai Racing Club Cup, the Group 1 Toorak Handicap and also the Group 1 Emirates Stakes, which he won last spring.

O’Brien’s other runners on Saturday include mares Maxerelle and Be Delicious in the Group 3 Let’s Elope Stakes, Escadaire and Galen in a 1400m race for three-year-olds and My Only Hope in a three-year-old fillies race up the straight.

by Jason Hickson - Racing and Sports

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