O'Brien eyeing big day at Caulfield

Most of Danny O’Brien’s focus at Caulfield this Saturday will be directed towards the Patinack Farm Blue Diamond and Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate, but he could have a couple of $180,000 Group 2 three-year-old wins on the board before those Group 1s are run.

O'Brien will step Measin, pictured above, up to 1800 metres in The Yalumba 162 for the colts and geldings, while Frenetica will be out to maintain her unbeaten 1400m record in the BMW Angus Armanasco Stakes for the girls.

Frenetica's two victories are the only two starts she's had over seven furlongs. The daughter of Ferocity broke her maiden with an effortless Ballarat win and next start got home in a 0-62 at Betfair Park Sandown.

She was serviceable first-up when ninth behind Miss Gai Flyer in the Listed Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield on February 12 and O'Brien expects sharp improvement this weekend.

“Certainly the 1400 will suit her better than the 1200 the other day and she'll strip fitter for it,” the Flemington trainer said. “She's going to go around double-figure odds, but she's unbeaten at the 1400 and she'll certainly be there for a long way.”

Frenetica will start from barrier seven in the 10-horse field, which also includes Edward Manifold winner Sistine Angel (one), the classy Peter Moody-trained Zelsnitz (10) and Kevin Hayes minor placegetters Miss Elvee (eight) and Pinker Pinker (nine).

Measin will start from barrier five in the 11-horse The Yalumba 162, where last start Moonee Valley winner Almindoro shapes as the measuring stick.

The Zabeel gelding has won two of his past three, including a midweek Betfair Park 0-72 success over the distance of Saturday's race.

“He's a nice horse, a nice Zabeel who's won two of his last three and ran second the other time giving the winner weight,” O'Brien said. “I think he's well weighted, in not a really strong Group 2 race, to run well.”

There is no doubting the depth of the $400,000 Group 1 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m), in which O'Brien will saddle up one of the meeting's headline horses, Star Witness.

The crack colt is returning to the scene of his biggest win, last year's Blue Diamond Stakes, and O'Brien thinks drawing barrier 10 in the 18-horse field gives him his chance to produce a similar performance.

“I'm happy with his draw,” he said. “He definitely doesn't need an inside draw, he'll be middle to outside of the field and trying to run them down like he did on the same day last year.”

Star Witness, to be ridden by Steven Arnold, is one of two O'Brien runners in the Oakleigh Plate with Keano to also represent the stable. Keano (Stephen Baster) has also drawn favourably in barrier six.

O'Brien is also in the running to make it back-to-back Blue Diamonds, saddling up Running Tall in the $1 million two-year-old scamper.

The big son of Stratum beat home all bar raging Blue Diamond favourite Sepoy in the Prelude and O'Brien has added the blinkers in an effort to turn the tables.

Story by Racing Victoria, to view full story click here

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix website click here