O'Brien eyes Spring Carnival

An overcast, frosty winter morning at Barwon Heads on Saturday left Danny O’Brien anything, but dark and gloomy.

O’Brien was excited and optimistic for the coming Spring Carnival having just watched an array of established and up-and-coming starts gallop at his private training facility.

Star juveniles Star Witness and Shamrocker both looked to have improved and matured based on their strong gallops, while O’Brien is hoping unraced bluebloods Rockstardom (Makybe Diva), Heritage (Glamour Puss) and Oratorium (Infinite Grace) enhance their star mother’s reputations when they step out on the track, after they showed they were on track to debut shortly.

“It was a very positive morning,” O’Brien said.

“It was encouraging to see how well they have progressed through their early training and we will keep stepping up the bar with them in the coming weeks as we prepare them for the rigors of the Spring Carnival.”

“All of these horses have had decent breaks, have matured further and we are looking forward to seeing how far they can progress against the best during the Spring Carnival.”

It wasn’t just the younger horses that pleased O’Brien on the weekend, Caulfield Cup placegetter Vigor also put in an excellent gallop, as did improving grey No Jurisdiction.

“Vigor is in terrific order and we are looking forward to a huge campaign from him.” O’Brien said.

“He was very good last spring winning the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes and his run in the Caulfield Cup was great. We have a little bit of unfinished business with him and we are confident he can deliver.”

O’Brien plans to trial most of his spring team at Flemington in the next fortnight as he prepares them for first-up runs in August.

Also giving O’Brien reason to smile is the knowledge that stable stalwart Master O’Reilly is in terrific order and will be gearing up for another Spring as a major Cups contender.

The rising eight-year-old returns to the Flemington stables this week after completing the early stages of his campaign on the water walker as he looks to run in his fourth consecutive Melbourne Cup in November.

“He loves the two miles here on his home track and we are aiming to improve on his fourth placings in the past two runnings of Cup.”

Photo by Sean Garnsworthy of Geoff Slattery Publishing, to view Slattery Media website click here