O'Brien's luck turns around at Sandown

Danny O'Brien bounced back from a frustrating spring with a winning treble at Sandown on Wednesday.

After his first runner Hostage To Fortune was runner-up in the But Beautiful Hcp (1400m), O'Brien broke a run of 33 outs in Melbourne when apprentice Billy Egan rode Gangland to victory in the Galleon Hcp (1600m).

No Jurisdiction ($7), ridden by Dan Nikolic, beat stablemate Lord Pyrus ($2.40 fav) in the Betfair Hcp (1400m) and Bellabaci ($2.90 fav), piloted by Stephen Baster, made it three for the day in the Palfresco Hcp (2100m).

"I've put all that behind me," O'Brien said referring to his luckless spring highlighted by his Caulfield Cup placegetter Vigor being balloted out of the Melbourne Cup.

O'Brien's last metropolitan winner before Wednesday was Spacecraft at Caulfield on Thousand Guineas day, October 14.

Gangland, a three-year-old gelding by More Than Ready, was bred and is raced by O'Brien and Antonie Thompson of Widden Stud.

"He's a bit of a slow learner. He's done a couple of things wrong. He made a complete mess of the Carbine Club (Stakes), but other than that his runs have been good," O'Brien said.

"He won a strong maiden at Echuca beating Umatain who won over the carnival and we probably rode him upside down at the Valley (when runner-up last start) and he looked like a nice horse today.

"Ridden off the speed today he looked a much better horse."

A drifter in the betting from $5 to $9, Gangland finished strongly from second last at the 400m to score by a short head from Jewel Thief with Poison Ivy a half-head away third.

Gangland is out of La Zoffany who gave Frankie Dettori his first Australian winner when she won the Listed Great Western Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in 1999.

O'Brien said he and Thompson later bought La Zoffany out of the Jim Conlan stable and won the 2000 Group 2 Marsh Classic (1600m) at Morphettville and the 2002 Listed Matron Stakes (1635m) at Flemington with her.

La Zoffany has had two named foals which have won with Gangland being her first metropolitan winner.

O'Brien has a good opinion of Zabeel four-year-old Bellabaci who is a full-sister to stakeswinners and Group One-placed stayers Philosophe and Men At Work.

"There wasn't much point in taking her to the races until she was a three-year-old, she's so big, but she's matured now and she's starting to put it all together," O'Brien said.

"She's a chance to go to the Bagot, she's a progressive mare who'll be better in the autumn."

The mare will run in a 2500m event at Moonee Valley on December 13 before a decision is made on the Listed $150,000 Bagot Hcp (2800m) at Flemington on January 1.

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

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