O'Brien burys punters with double

Trainer Danny O'Brien was the bane of punters when stablemates Cabeza and Sincengarni sunk two short-priced favourites in separate races at Flemington yesterday.

The first casualty was the Mark Kavanagh-trained Rain Shadow followed by the Lee Freedman-trained Gibraltar Moon.

O'Brien, who failed to make an impact on the spring carnival, has been in hot form over the last month but punters were unprepared for Cabeza's victory in Saturday's Western Health Community Handicap (1600m).

Ridden by apprentice Jason Maskiell, Cabeza started at $10 and scored by 1-1/4 lengths from Flash Madica ($8) who looked likely to steal the race with aid of a daring frontrunning ride from Dean Yendall, while odds-on favourite Rain Shadow ($1.55) battled home the same margin away in third place.

Cabeza was racing in blinkers for the first time after being unplaced in his first two runs this campaign including a last-start last at Caulfield.

O'Brien blamed slow-tempo races for Cabeza's last two failures.

"He hasn't been suited at his last two being in a couple of shuffling, slowly-run 1400-metre races," O'Brien said.

"Today with a good tempo his stamina came into it and he outstayed the rest."

Yendall said he thought he had the race won at the 300m when Flash Madica still had a good break on the field but he tired badly over the last 50 metres.

Michael Rodd said Rain Shadow lacked her usual turn of foot which had served her well to win her previous two starts at Seymour and Moonee Valley.

Kavanagh's racing manager Merv Harvey said the Bianconi filly would now be spelled in the hope of making an autumn Oaks filly.

If Cabeza didn't fill bookmakers' bags then Sincengarni, ridden by Craig Newitt, must have after drifting from $5 to $7 and winning first-up in the Johnstaff Projects Handicap (1000m).

Head Over heels ($3.30) was second and Gibraltar Moon, ridden by Maskiell, started $2.20 favourite and finished third.

O'Brien said Sincengarni, pictured above returning to scale above and the winner of two of her five starts, had good sprinting potential.

"She is only a little girl but she matured really well with the spring break she had," O'Brien said.

He said Newitt's ride won the day as he was able to pocket the two favourites.

"It was an outstanding ride and it panned out beautifully," O'Brien said.

"He (Newitt) had plenty of horse and was able to push the button when he wanted."

Story and Photo by Herald Sun. To view Herald Sun Super Racing story click here

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