O’Brien saves Lycurgus for country cups double

Danny O’Brien is hoping his strategy of tackling two lucrative country cups at the end of spring will pay off for Lycurgus.

The first of these is Saturday’s $350,000 Ballarat Cup (2200m) and the second will follow a fortnight later in the $300,000 Pakenham Cup (2500m) on December 8.

Lycurgus has had two starts this campaign, finishing third at his last start behind Top Prospect over 1800m at Flemington.

“I always had in the back of my mind with him that the two cups would be races that would suit him,” O’Brien said.

“There’s good prizemoney and they are the right level races for him.

“I thought his Flemington run was terrific and he’s ready to run well, although he’s better suited on a dry track rather than a wet track.

“He’s a handy stayer and he’s ready to improve.”

At his last campaign, Lycurgus won three city staying races.

Lycurgus will be ridden by Brett Prebble, who will also ride O’Brien’s two-year-old filly Absolute Flirt in the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m). “She’s gone to Ballarat and trialled well and last week she won well at Cranbourne,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien won two races over the Flemington carnival with Order Of Command and Lycurgus’s half brother Vow And Declare.

Vow And Declare won the 1800m three-year-old race on Oaks Day and O’Brien is setting him for the ATC Derby and the South Australian Derby.

O’Brien said if he did not salute in either of the three-year-old staying races he would look at starting Vow And Declare in The Andrew Ramsden in a bid to win a golden ticket into next year’s Melbourne Cup.


Story by Michael Manley, Herald Sun. To view full Super Racing story click here

Pic by Racing Photos