O'Brien hoping for another stable Star


Much to his delight, Flemington trainer Danny O'Brien has finally got his hands on Prairie Star, pictured with jockey in Blue.

O'Brien's travelling foreman Paul Koumis this week flew to England to take charge of the son of Peintre Celebre, who was purchased in partnership with OTI Racing during winter.

Koumis took over from French trainer John Hammond yesterday, just prior to entering quarantine for his trip to Australia, and O'Brien is excited about getting the chance to try and mould him into one of Australia's top stayers.

“He's a Group 2 winner as a three-year-old and he ran well in the French Derby last year,” O'Brien said.

“He's a horse that we've got in mind for the next three or four seasons, he's still only a young horse and he's still a maturing horse, so we won't be pushing him until he really put his hand up.

“I've got a very open mind now that the horse is in my care as to where he heads. I'll let him tell me.”

Prairie Star is one of the many progressive Northern Hemisphere stayers that have been bought by Australian interests this year.

A five-year-old by Southern Hemisphere time, Prairie Star has won four of his 12 starts with a further five minor placings.

His biggest win came in the Group 2 Prix Hocquart over 2200m at Longchamp last year, while he has a 2000m Group 1 placing behind Recital to his name.

A rare blot on his copybook came last start in the Group 2 Prix Deauville (2500m), at Deauville on 26 August, when he failed to beat home a rival at his first start for three months.

While he holds an entry for both the BMW Caulfield (2400m) and Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), O'Brien said connections are not committed to starting in either event.

“We'll see how he does at Newmarket, then we'll obviously see how he lands out here at Werribee and take it from there,” O'Brien said.

“He'd have to really please me to line up in the Caulfield Cup otherwise we've got options like the Geelong Cup or Bendigo Cup to get a line on him once he's out there.

Prairie Star is part of the first batch of Northern Hemisphere horses that enter quarantine tonight and will be in Australia as part of the first shipment on Saturday, 29 September.
Story by Racing Victoria Limited, to view full story on RVL website click here 

Photo by Steve Cargill and appears courtesy of Racing Victoria Limited

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