Angel returns a winner for O'Brien

Well-bred four-year-old Defiant Angel made a long-awaited, winning return to the racetrack at Geelong today after 11 months off.

The full-brother to multiple Group-winning sprinter Here de Angels hadn't raced since a close up fourth at Sandown last September and was having his first run for new trainer Danny O'Brien, having previously been with Anthony Freedman.

Owned by Sean Buckley, and carrying the colours of his former champion sprinter Miss Andretti, Defiant Angel (by Dehere) showed a neat turn of foot to come from off what was only a modest tempo and score an impressive win over 1200m in rating 84 grade on the synthetic track today.

Ridden by Michael Walker, Defiant Angel ($4.80) reeled in the well-backed Smackdown ($2) with Sumac ($15) turning in a much improved performance on his effort at Mornington just 24 hours earlier where he finished seventh on heavy ground.

O'Brien gave Defiant Angel a decent wrap following the race. "They didn't go that quick and he knuckled down really well to win. "He has a good amount of ability this horse and he wasn't fully wound up today.

"I think he will run out a strong mile, but we're not sure where to go with him this time in. We will just try to get him into a winning habit and hopefully he can keep progressing," O'Brien said.

The race didn't go as planned according to Walker, but he, too, was pleased with the horse's effort.

"I aimed to be one out one back on him, but there was a few going forward so I just decided to ride him back," Walker said post-race.

"He has got a very good turn of foot, and he still has a bit to learn becuase he wanted to pull up when he got to the front."

Story by Joel Marshall, to view full Racing Network story click here 

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix website click here