O'Brien issues straight-track Order


Order Of Command's recent assignments suggest Danny O'Brien thinks he has found the key to the four-year-old son of Squamosa.

The gelding had his first five starts on provincial tracks, for two wins and a couple of minor placings, but has been pointed towards the Flemington straight for his past four starts.

A fourth placing to gun speedster Nature Strip over 1100m in June was followed by a 1200-metre second placing to the same horse in July before a narrow second, to Brave Song, later that month.

His only start since resulted in a gritty win in the Grand Handicap BM80 (1100m) that rounded out last month's Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Flemington had five weeks off after Cup Week and O'Brien said Order Of Command had been ticking over at his Barwon Heads property waiting for the track's return.

"He's been down at Thirteenth Beach just taking it easy waiting for a suitable race and he gets a suitable race again Saturday," he said.

"He's a talented horse, hopefully can go back-to-back.

"He went to Werribee the Monday before last and had a quiet trial, but felt good in the trial, and hopefully he can bring his form to the races."

Order Of Command drops 1kg on his Grand Handicap win, to 57kg, for Saturday's Festive Season BM84 Sprint (1000m) in which he will again be ridden by Damien Oliver and jump from barrier five.

He is $3 favourite in BetEasy's market, which has last-start The Valley runner-up Demolition (57.5kg, barrier eight) on the $4 second line.

Order Of Command is part of a strong team O'Brien will saddle at his home track this weekend, with My Pendant to chase a hat-trick of wins in the 1400-metre 3YO Fillies BM70 that launches the card.

That's a rise of 200m on the Pins filly's past two wins, at Sandown and The Valley, and O'Brien said the race would provide an important piece of intelligence regarding her future goals.

"We're hoping for potentially autumn black type at some stage, she's lightly raced and shown enough talent to suggest that shouldn't be out of her reach," he said.

"We're still learning about her and the 1400 on Saturday will give us another bit of information to see where she's best suited."

Craig Williams, who has ridden My Pendant ($3.40 fav) to her past two wins, again has the ride on Saturday - when she will carry 60kg - and they will jump from barrier five.

O'Brien's other runners are Lycurgus, the $5 third elect for the Happy Holidays Handicap (2500m, Race 4), and Portman ($20) in the Yuletide Handicap (1400m, Race 7).

By Brad Bishop and Sam Doran for Racing.com, to view full story click here

Pic by Racing Photos

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