O'Brien claims back-to-back Sires

Two-year-old racing is all about timing and for promising colt Running Tall it was worth the wait after claiming the Group 2 Sires Produce Stakes at Flemington, which made it back-to-back wins in the feature race for trainer Danny O'Brien.

The Danny O'Brien-trained colt, a $500,000 yearling by Stratum, had raced three times prior to today's two-year-old feature and went into it a maiden.

Placing on debut in the spring he was put away with the Blue Diamond in mind but he had a minor setback putting back his autumn campaign.

He got going in the Blue Diamond Prelude with a solid second behind Sepoy but in the Group 1 Blue Diamond just ran out of condition in the straight and finished seventh.

O'Brien was confident he would strip much fitter for today and also adamant he would get the trip felt he was in with a strong winning chance.

Not only did O'Brien claim the major prize with Running Tall, he also quinellaed the race with an Encosta De Lago colt Decircles .

“He missed a run early in his campaign and it probably put him a run behind,” O'Brien said of Running Tall.

“He peaked on his run late in the Diamond so we had him a lot fitter today. He's a class animal.

“And the second colt is not a bad colt either.

“We always had planned to have him handy enough as these two-year-old 1400m races are usually leisurely enough run.

“Ben (Melham) had him in the right spot but the horse had stripped a lot fitter for today and it was a dominant win.”

The favourite for the race, Sydney colt Helmet, was a late scratching after being vetted at the barriers which took the expected leader out of the race.

Jockey Ben Melham settled Running Tall in a good spot in second place, turning there, before going for home.

He set up a winning break and proved too strong for his rivals, with Decircles coming from well back to grab second as did Grand Britannia.

The new favourite on the jump, Masthead, looked within striking distance after circling from the back into the turn but held fourth in the run to the line.

Running Tall, owned in Singapore, may have now extended his racing career in Australia being a Group winning colt.

It was his first career win but added $180,000 to his bank with the maiden success.

It was the second win in a row for the Flemington trainer in the Sires, claiming the race last year with Shamrocker, who won last week's Group 1 Australian Guineas.

Story by Racing and Sports, to view full story click here

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