Don't forget the Master

Danny O'Brien, simmering from Vigor's exclusion from the Melbourne Cup, rates Master O'Reilly as a top six chance in today's race.

O'Brien described the Cup as a skinny race revolving around half a dozen live chances: Viewed, Alcopop, Roman Emperor, Daffodil, Shocking and Master O'Reilly.

He said there were about a dozen horses that had no chance.

"That's the frustrating thing for myself and the owners of Vigor - he would have been a definite chance," O'Brien said.

"Vigor would have been good for the Cup, unlike the speed humps they left in."

Master O'Reilly has showed in both the Caulfield Cup, when he rallied late for sixth, and the Mackinnon Stakes, where he ran home for fifth, that he was looking to run a strong 3200m.

"That's going to take you a long way in the Melbourne Cup," O'Brien said.

Master O'Reilly is lining up for his third Melbourne Cup.

He hurt himself when eighth behind Efficient as favourite in 2007 and last year finished fourth to Viewed after running into an Irish traffic jam at the 600m.

"The horse is going super," O'Brien said.

"Last year you could easily make a case that he should have run a place but for being held up behind the tiring Irish horses. He hit the line harder than any other horses.

"He had a nice clean-out on Saturday. He's bright and ready to go. The harder they go the better, because I know he'll be one of the strongest at the finish.

"And he meets Viewed 5kg better for running fourth (last year). We're definitely right in there."

Master O'Reilly is a solid $14 chance after yesterday's Call of the Card.

Jockey Vlad Duric flew in yesterday to ride the seven-year-old, who is part-owned by Duric's wife Storm.

O'Brien said the Vigor disappointment was both extremely frustrating and annoying, but it was something he had to move on from.

"Most people are just puzzled by the decision," O'Brien said.

"The only thing I can think of is that there was so many bad horses, they didn't know which one to choose. Do they pull out Spin Around or Gallions Reach? I suppose it was a toss of the coin.

"But you've just got to take the setbacks and keep moving on otherwise you would just go crazy. What can you do? It's their race, their rules."

Story by Adrian Dunn, to view full Herald Sun story click here

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

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