Stellar stable has Danny buoyed

Trainer Danny O'Brien revealed his lethal Cups hand at Werribee on Friday and left the track convinced Master O'Reilly was better now than when he won the Caulfield Cup a year ago.

"But he'll have to be. He carried 50.5kg last year and will get something like 55.5kg this year. He'll have to be three to four lengths better and I think he is," O'Brien said.

"He was tired by the time we got to the Melbourne Cup last year; hopefully we can make amends this time."

The Flemington trainer trialled more than 20 horses, including six expected to play major roles in the Cups.

It's a quintet any trainer would covet on the eve of spring - last year's Caulfield Cup quinella horses Master O'Reilly and Douro Valley, former Perth star Lords Ransom, last year's Irish Derby runner-up Alexander Of Hales and the horse many believe could be O'Brien's best, giant stayer Gallopin.

Fellow Flemington trainer Mark Kavanagh also sent a star duo to Werribee.

Maldivian, last year's Caulfield Cup favourite sensationally scratched at the barriers, had an easy trial and stablemate Devil Moon scored the most impressive trial win of the morning.

O'Brien was pleased and relieved that his spring stars passed yesterday's test. "It was a pretty major step in the scheme of things, and all the horses came through the trials extremely well," O'Brien said. "Hopefully they're all bound for the Cups."

Gallopin beat Lords Ransom in an 1100m trial; former Coolmore star Alexander Of Hales impressively won his trial and Master O'Reilly and DouroValley ran soft placings.

O'Brien plans to kick-start the Cups campaign for the group in the next month, starting with Alexander Of Hales in the Liston Stakes at Caulfield in a fortnight.

While convinced Master O'Reilly had improved, O'Brien was equally taken with Gallopin.

"Gallopin's furnished into a lovely horse. I guess we're all pretty excited about his campaign," he said.

"He'll get into the Caulfield Cup with a light weight and I think he has a fair bit of class."

By Matt Stewart

For full Herald Sun Story click here

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli

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