Rios to step out in Aurie's Star

Flemington trainer Danny O'Brien is hoping to get a guide to the spring prospects of Rios when he makes his debut for the stable in Saturday's Aurie's Star Handicap.

The talented kiwi, formerly prepared by Murray and Bjorn Baker, has been sent to O'Brien in the hope he can improve his stallion prospects over the coming months.

The Hussonet five-year-old is a six-time winner from just 20 career starts, including the Group 2 Thoroughbred Breeders Guineas at Wellington.

As a three-year-old he had an autumn campaign in Australia, finishing a narrow second in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes before running eighth in last year's Group 1 AJC Derby behind fellow Kiwi Nom Du Jeu.

A half-brother to this year's AJC Derby winner Roman Emperor, Rios is among entries for the Cox Plate but O'Brien feels his best may be over a slightly shorter journey.

“He's among the Cox Plate entries but I'd say a race like the Toorak would be ideal for him,” O'Brien said.

“He came to us to try to improve his record here over the spring and if he were to win a Group 1 it would make him commercial.”

Rios will kick off his spring campaign in Saturday's Listed Aurie's Star Handicap, down the straight 1200m track.

Rios has a good fresh-up record with three wins from five starts but all three have been over 1400m.

“We're very happy with him. He's a good looking stallion. He'll kick off this Saturday but whether he can match it with Australian sprinters over 1200m remains to be seen.

“We'll know more about which way to go with him after seeing him on Saturday.”

O'Brien has four entries for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups but rates Vigor and Master O'Reilly as his best chances.

Vigor, a winner of seven of his 15 starts, is nominated for Saturday's Aurie's Star but will kick off at Caulfield the following week.

Story by Racing and Sports, to view full story click here

Photo by Racing and Sports

Tower-ing performance from Savabeel gelding

Tower-ing performance from Savabeel gelding
[19 Feb 19] Tower Road showed fighting qualities that will hold him good stead for his future racing to secure his maiden victory at Seymour on Tuesday. Sent out a $2 favourite, the son of Savabeel shot to the lead and was then challenged strongly inside the final 100m before kicking to hold a small margin on the line.  more...

Filly Embraces Valley Black-type test

Filly Embraces Valley Black-type test
[18 Feb 19] Danny O’Brien took the opportunity to let Embrace Me have another feel of Moonee Valley on Monday ahead of Friday night’s Group III Typhoon Tracy Stakes.   more...

Ollie masterclass sees Vellaspride home

Ollie masterclass sees Vellaspride home
[13 Feb 19] Damien Oliver used all his guile and willpower to lift Vellaspride to victory at Sandown on Wednesday breaking a run of four consecutive second placings. Trainer Danny O'Brien praised his jockey as the pair bought up their 10th metro victory for the season together.  more...