Master begins Spring campaign

Trainer Danny O'Brien's veteran stayer Master O'Reilly has begun a campaign aimed at a fourth consecutive Melbourne Cup appearance at Flemington in November.

The rising eight-year-old, fourth in the past two Melbourne Cups after a debut eighth in 2007, has begun pre-training for the spring at a country property.

O'Brien has mapped out a program for the 2007 Caulfield Cup winner that will be light on appearances compared to previous years.

“He's begun pre-training on the water walker at Matthew Feiss' property at Woodstock to start building up his fitness,” assistant trainer Gerard Tesoriero said.

“There's a bit of management involved with him so we like to build up us much fitness without putting him under saddle.

“He'll spend about four weeks on the water walker before he heads to either our Barwon Heads property or to Flemington to continue building his fitness base.

“Our goal is certainly another Melbourne Cup start, but he won't be seen until later in the spring because we'll manage his workload.

“The horse did a fair bit of work on a high speed treadmill here at Flemington last year and we'll be training him very similar this year.”

Master O'Reilly has the impressive record of having raced exclusively in Group or Listed company at his past 25 starts.

O'Brien also has boom colt Star Witness back in work with the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) in October his spring goal.

The Blue Diamond Stakes winner is being pre-trained at Barwon Heads and is likely to return to racing in the $100,000 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on 14 August.

O'Brien also has last season's Caulfield Cup placegetter Vigor in pre-training ahead of a return to racing in August.

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Photo by Bronwen Healy

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