Engine takes on the Blue Army again

Trainer Danny O'Brien is hoping a return to Sandown will see De Little Engine turn the tables on the Godolphin stable in the Sandown Cup on Saturday.

In Melbourne Cup week, De Little Engine finished fourth in the Lexus Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth won by Godolphin European raiders Oceanographer and Francis Of Assisi.

On Saturday the Encosta De Lago gelding will meet Geelong Cup winner Qewy in the listed 3200m event.

"Qewy is going to be extremely hard to beat after his fourth placing in the Melbourne Cup, but if he is off his A game, I am confident De Little Engine can challenge," O'brien said

Saturday will be De Little Engine's third consecutive weekend of racing.

"He is as tough as they come and he is very fit leading into this event. The 3200m holds no qualms as I think he would run 4000m if we asked him.

"He ran third in the Andrew Ramsden back in May (over 3200m) and in this race last year in got too far back before closing well for sixth. Given the smaller field, I can't see him getting as far back on Saturday," O'Brien added.

Sandown is also a happy hunting ground for the six-year-old who is two wins and nose second from five starts at the track, including the win in the above photo.

"Godolphin have won almost every staying race this Spring and they have another great chance here, but our horse will enjoy the drop in grade and weight and we are heading into this race expecting him to run well," O'Brien said.

Pic by Bruno Cannatelli

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