Ollie ensures Keano's luck improves

At Caulfield two weeks ago, trainer Danny O'Brien commented that he had never seen a horse get into more trouble in a race after his promising three-year-old Keano ran an unlucky sixth.

Yesterday at Flemington, O'Brien was all smiles post-race, after seeing Keano ($1.80 favourite) take out the Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap (1400 metres).

"He's got a lot of ability. I think he's a very, very nice horse," O'Brien said.

Rather than risk a repeat of his Caulfield trouble where he couldn't get a run in the straight, jockey Damien Oliver got Keano to the outside at the top of the straight and despite racing a little greenly, Keano raced up to leader Cascabel and after a short battle drew clear on the line to win by a length and a quarter.

"He's still learning how to go through his gears and got to the second horse quickly. He's still got to learn how to put a race away. That was only his fourth start and we think he'll measure up to the better three-year-olds in the autumn," O'Brien said.

Keano will now head to the paddock for a short break before being aimed at the group 1 Australian Guineas (1600 metres) on March 7.

Keano is certainly bred to be contesting better-class races. A $450,000 Easter yearling, he is by leading New Zealand-based sire Pins.

O'Brien is confident that Keano is as good as his stablemates Iamzeus and Lucky Thunder, who were up with the better three-year-olds in the spring.

"I think he is right up with my better three-year-olds so I'm looking forward to the autumn. Hopefully Whobegotyou has lost a couple of lengths and mine have found a couple," he said.

By Andrew Garvey

To view Sunday Age story click here

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here

O'Brien filly Flirts with ability

O'Brien filly Flirts with ability
[12 Nov 18] Danny O’Brien is optimistic his fruitful end to the spring can continue with promising juvenile Absolute Flirt, who turned heads with a sharp hitout at Monday’s official trials at Cranbourne.  more...

Ollie equals record aboard Order

Ollie equals record aboard Order
[10 Nov 18] Damien Oliver equalled legendary jockey Bobbie Lewis's longstanding record of 72 wins in the Melbourne Cup carnival when he won the last race of the week on Order Of Command for Danny O'Brien.  more...

O'Brien Declares Autumn Derby aspirations

O'Brien Declares Autumn Derby aspirations
[08 Nov 18] He was squeezed out of the field for Saturday's AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) but progressive stayer Vow And Declare delivered connections a consolation prize on Thursday with a last-gasp win in the Listed TCL TV Stakes (1800m) at Flemington.  more...