New dads hope to double up with a girl

NEW fathers, trainer Danny O'Brien and jockey Steven Arnold, hope their good fortune in recent days can spill over to Caulfield today when they combine with Thousand Guineas favourite Absolut Glam.

O'Brien said yesterday that he and Arnold were looking forward to a double celebration tonight after Arnold's wife Kate gave birth to a son late on Monday night, just four days after O'Brien and his partner, Nina Begagic, welcomed their first son, Thomas.

"It's fantastic news for Steven and we are banking on the boys bringing us some luck at Caulfield tomorrow," O'Brien said. "Thomas was born at 11.30pm last Thursday and you wouldn't believe it but Steven's wife gave birth last night at 11.30."

Absolut Glam has been backed solidly for the $500,000 Thousand Guineas and is expected to start favourite for the classic despite having raced just four times for one win in a Seymour maiden.

The Snowland filly became top pick for the Guineas following her eye-catching finishing run for third in the Edward Manifold Stakes at Flemington 11 days ago. "She's really improved since the Manifold and while she's drawn awkwardly, I expect she'll be pretty hard to beat tomorrow," O'Brien said.

Ever the professional, Arnold left the hospital early yesterday morning and rode trackwork at Flemington and Moonee Valley yesterday. He is aiming at a third Thousand Guineas victory today to go with his 2000 win on All Time High and his 2001 victory on Magical Miss.

by Andrew Eddy - The Age

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