Prairie ready to star


During the spring, Danny O'Brien had to tread a fine line between working and cuddling stable newcomer Prairie Star, but following a good spell the trainer now expects the racing public to see a much improved horse over the Melbourne Festival Of Racing.

"When we got him (in the lead-up to the spring) he was pretty light and we were always up against it," O'Brien said.

However Prairie Star thrived during his stint at the TAB International Horse Centre at Werribee and after a good fourth at his local debut in the David Jones Cup at Caulfield, he again ran a great race in a very strong Mackinnon Stakes on Derby day at Flemington.

After looming up at the top of the straight, Prairie Star just tired over the final stages, to finish fourth beaten just two lengths.

The only horses in front of him were subsequent Hong International Cup placegetter Alcopop, 2011 Mackinnon winner Glass Harmonium and Cox Plate winner Ocean Park.

Following that run, Prairie Star spelled at O'Brien's Barwon Heads property and the trainer said that he could not have be more pleased with how the son of Peintre Celebre had done during his time off.

"He spent the whole summer down at Barwon Heads and really thrived down there, put on weight, really strengthened up and is a horse that is in great shape."

"His Mackinnon run was very good and I think he's well up to group one class so I'm really looking forward to the Autumn with him."

Prairie Star, ridden by Ben Melham who partnered him through the spring, went nicely in a jumpout at Flemington last Friday and is likely to resume in the Group 3 Carlyon Stakes (1600m) at Caulfield on February 9.

O'Brien has the option of giving Prairie Star another run prior to the Group 1 Darley Australian Cup, in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800) at Caulfield on February 23.

However at this stage he is leaning towards running second up in the Australian Cup.

"I'll be guided by how he goes first up but he may well need to have just the one run before the Australian Cup," he said.

Story by Andrew Garvey, to view full Racing Victoria story click here

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix website click here 

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