O'Brien happy with Master

Trainer Danny O'Brien is content to limit Master O'Reilly to two leadup runs as the six-year-old attempts to win his second Caulfield Cup next month.

Last year the Cup was Master O'Reilly's fifth start of the preparation, but O'Brien is adamant the horse won't need as much racing to reach his peak this campaign.

O'Brien decided against running the gelding in yesterday's Group One Underwood Stakes (1800m) preferring to wait for the Group One Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.

It will mean a month between runs for Master O'Reilly who finished sixth to Weekend Hussler when he resumed in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 6.

Last year's Melbourne Cup winner Efficient launched his spring campaign when he finished fifth in the Makybe and like Master O'Reilly he won't race again until the Turnbull.

O'Brien said Master O'Reilly was peaking nicely for the Cup and that there was no need to race him as often as last year.

"A lot of stayers are being trained different nowadays and we don't have to continually spin the wheels with him," O'Brien said.

"We have got the horse very fit and he doesn't need to go to the races to make us feel better about how he is going.

"We know what the horse can do and we know what suits him and that is 2400 metres."

"That is his trip and that's what we are aiming at."

Last year O'Brien trained the Caulfield Cup quinella with Master O'Reilly and Douro Valley who yesterday finished eighth to Weekend Hussler in the Underwood.

O'Brien said he was satisfied with the performance of Douro Valley who is better suited under handicap conditions.

"That was him at weight-for-age," said O'Brien referring to the Underwood performance.

"His next run will be in the Caulfield Stakes a week before he runs in the Cup."

Master O'Reilly had only one start in the autumn when unplaced in the R A Lee Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville in May while Douro Valley was placed once in five autumn starts when third in the Group Two St George Stakes (1800m) won by Princess Coup.


To view The Australian story click here

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli