Danny O’Brien will elect to miss the Sydney Cup and instead run King Of Leogrance in a race much closer to home which carries a golden ticket into Australia’s most famous race.

The lure of gaining a start in the Melbourne Cup, will see Adelaide Cup winner King Of Leogrance bypass next month’s Sydney Cup and instead run in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington on May 16, which carries a golden ticket into Australia’s most famous race.

“It was one or the other and the Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) is in our backyard and our goal is to get him into the Melbourne Cup. If he wins he’s in ballot free, so we’ll go down that path,” his trainer, Danny O’Brien said.

“We don’t have to leave Flemington to run in that race and he’d be a legitimate chance of winning. If he could, we could then plan for the spring knowing we’re in the Melbourne Cup.”

O’Brien will follow the same path as last year’s Adelaide Cup winner Surprise Baby who finished second to Steel Prince in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes.

King Of Leogrance joined O’Brien’s stables late last after his managing owners, Lloyd and Nick Williams, shut down their training establishment at Macedon Lodge, and he has had only three starts for him, winning his last two races.

He is a $26 chance with TAB fixed odds for the Melbourne Cup.

O’Brien will run his two three-year-old fillies Miami Bound and Paradee in the Adrian Knox Stakes on April 4 and then again in the $1 million ATC Oaks on April 11, both races are at Randwick.

O’Brien said the two runs this time in from last year’s Wakeful Stakes and VRC Oaks winner Miami Bound had been average.

“They were on hard track and she’ll enjoy racing on softer tracks,” he said.

Paradee won the Alexandra Stakes at The Valley last Friday and impressed O’Brien.

“She’s in great form and racing terrifically.”


Michael Manly, Herald Sun

Photo by Racing Pics