O'Brien keeping it in the family

Danny O'Brien opened his 2009/10 metropolitan account and continued his success with progeny from Carolingian mare Lady Iguazu when Cabeza won on debut at Sandown today.

With no public barrier trials before today's Attley Super Vobis Handicap (1300m), the Zabeel three-year-old colt surprised racegoers when he edged out the highly-fancied Invincible Spirit colt Midnight Glory by a nose on the line.

“It was a good effort,” O'Brien said.

“He was a little bit lost out there in the middle of the track and the other horse probably got a neck out in front of him and he still dug in enough to get his head back in front on the line.”

“He's always been a nice colt. We bought him at Easter a couple of years ago and being a Zabeel he didn't do much at two, and he just had a couple of education jumpouts.

“Today was really going to tell us where he was at."

When asked about future campaign goals for Cabeza, O'Brien made reference to the colt's half-sister which he also trained, Splashing Out.

“We'll certainly keep on going with him,” O'Brien said.

“His half-sister Splashing Out actually won the Thoroughbred Club (Gr 3) at her third start and then ran second behind Gold Edition in the Asccot Vale in her fourth start. I would be pretty happy if he made that sort of progression.”

Cabeza and Splashing Out are out of Carolingian mare and multiple New Zealand Stakes winner Lady Iguazu.

Lady Iguazu is a half-sister to Clermont Rose who is the dam of Grand Dancer.

Grand Dancer won a Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie before stints in Australia and Hong Kong.

Cabeza was a $200,000 purchase at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

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