Week's delay to suit Barbaricus: O'Brien

Trainer Danny O'Brien believes the week's delay in the running of the $1 million Australian Cup at Flemington will be to the benefit of Barbaricus.

The grey was to back up a week after his third-up fourth to Typhoon Tracy in the Futurity Stakes (1600m) at Caulfield on February 27.

The Lion Hunter five-year-old, who ran a gutsy third to All The Good in the 2008 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and was beaten a nose by Theseo in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), had an 11-month layoff after running twice in Dubai in February last year.

"He's on his way back from a decent break and any decent gallop probably brings him on a bit more," O'Brien said.

"He had a good solid one yesterday morning and he'll be spot-on on Saturday."

Stablemate and 2007 Caulfield Cup winner Master O'Reilly goes into the 2000m feature second-up after he ran on nicely from last to finish fifth to Turffontein in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley when resuming on February 13.

"Obviously at weight-for-age he needs to have a bit of zip still in his legs so we've kept him reasonably fresh," O'Brien said.

"He is certainly fit enough for the mile-and-a-quarter."

Flemington racecourse manager Mick Goodie says the weather outlook is good for the meeting featuring, apart from the Australian Cup, the Australian Guineas and the Blamey Stakes.

Showers were predicted for Tuesday and Wednesday, but Goodie said the weather would be fine right through until next Tuesday.

Despite the deluge last Saturday, Goodie hasn't ruled out the track having to be watered before Saturday.

He rated the track a slow (6) on Tuesday.

Track staff were mowing the track over a 16-hour period from Tuesday through until Wednesday morning in preparation for the meeting.

The Victoria Racing Club has thrown the gates open with the public to be admitted free after the inconvenience of the last three races, including the Australian Cup and the Australian Guineas, having to be abandoned last Saturday.

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