'Pins' the first on parade in quest for classic

FLEMINGTON trainer Danny O'Brien's four-pronged attack on Melbourne's autumn classic, the Cadbury Guineas, begins this Saturday at Caulfield with the return to racing of his exciting gelding Pins On Parade in the Zeditave Stakes over 1200 metres.

O'Brien said yesterday that he was fortunate to have a wealth of quality young gallopers in his stable and that Pins On Parade was one of a quartet of three-year-olds that also includes rising stars Purrealist, Villain and Barbaricus that he planned to run in the $750,000 Guineas on March 8 at Flemington.

"They are all headed that way and all four are coming along nicely," he said. "They are all basically coming off their first campaigns in the spring and if all goes to plan, all four will go into the Guineas at their third run back before we take stock and look at the Sydney carnival."

Villain, who finished fourth in the Victoria Derby, and Barbaricus, who won the group 2 Stutt Stakes last spring, will resume the following week in the 1400-metre C. S. Hayes Stakes at Flemington, with the likely star of the group, Purrealist, to run a week later at Caulfield, also over 1400 metres.

O'Brien said that Purrealist, a half-brother to multiple group 1 winner Racing To Win, had recovered well from a minor suspensory strain received in the lead-up to the Caulfield Guineas.

"He's been back in the stable for a while and he'll be ready for a jump-out in a fortnight," O'Brien said. "The scans of his injury are completely clear so he'll probably run first-up on the ninth (of February in the 1400-metre Wellington RC Stakes) and then press on to the Australian (Cadbury) Guineas.

"His pedigree means that the Guineas is paramount for him at this stage with a view to him being a stallion down the track."

Purrealist was seen as the only realistic danger to the eventual Caulfield Guineas winner Weekend Hussler after he had been most impressive in winning the Guineas Prelude before his injury.

O'Brien's seemingly endless list of promising three-year-olds does not end there. He will also run fillies Absolut Glam and the unbeaten Code Black in Saturday's listed Kevin Hayes Stakes over 1200 metres at Caulfield.

by Andrew Eddy - The Age

Read the full article here at The Age

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