O’BRIEN, PETERS SEEK MORE SPRING SUCCESS

09-05-2021

Fresh off winning the Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley yesterday with Superstorm, Danny O’Brien and owner Bob Peters could strike again for spring glory next weekend with Inspirational Girl.

Last year’s Railway Stakes heroine will head to the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and will be the headline act for O’Brien’s team at Flemington on Saturday.

“She’s obviously had a similar first up run to Superstorm, albeit in the Memsie (Stakes), she hit the line really nicely and looks better suited out to the mile, we’re looking forward to running her on Saturday,” O’Brien said on Racing.com’s The Wrap on Sunday morning.

O’Brien will also unveil The Showdown winner, Finance Tycoon, next Saturday, as well as Young Werther, who was placed in two Derbies as a three-year-old.

For Finance Tycoon, it will be the colts first run since he was transferred to O’Brien’s care after he started off his career with Lindsay Park.

“He’s really pleased us, his trials have been excellent, and he’ll turn up next Saturday in the 1100-metre listed race at Flemington and we’re hoping he can take that next step to a potential Coolmore (Stud Stakes) run,” O’Brien said.

“We will have Young Werther run first up, he will probably go to the 1700-metre handicap rather than the Makybe (Diva Stakes).”

O’Brien also spoke more broadly about his spring team and appeared pleased with the preparations of both his proven and emerging stayers.

“We’ve got a good spread of stayers,” he said.

“Vow And Declare looks to be coming back somewhere near his best, looking forward to his next couple of runs.

“Miami Bound was good first up the other day. We’re hopefully going to be around the mark in those staying races when they come along in the next month or so.”

Vow And Declare has already raced this campaign, with the 2019 Melbourne Cup winner finishing tenth in the Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) at Caulfield last weekend.

“I thought he was good,” O’Brien said of the performance.

“In a 1700-metre race, he was back and his last 200 (metres) was the equal quickest of the race, and more importantly, on the day, he was really happy to be there and fresh, for a horse that hasn’t raced a lot over the last 12 months, it was a really good resumption.

“He’ll probably go to the Naturalism (Stakes) and then the Bart Cummings, so we’re going to get a really good idea over the next couple of starts whether he’s up and about for the bigger spring races.”

The next few days could also be telling for O’Brien’s Victoria Derby and Oaks prospects, with a few of them lining up at Geelong today and Sandown on Wednesday.

“We’ve got a good spread of middle distance three-year-olds; a couple of fillies on Wednesday, a Shamus Award filly called El Patroness that we like for the Oaks, also another Vancouver filly, called Blackcomb, will both run Wednesday, and we’ve got a good spread of colts, a couple of them at Geelong today, Man Of Heart and Grinzinger King,” he said.

“The next three or four weeks will help us identify what is good enough and coping to press on towards Oaks and Derby’s, but we’ve certainly got a few of those types in the stable.”

Another interesting runner for O’Brien at Geelong this afternoon is Kapalua Sunset.

The three-year-old filly’s owners include past and present Hawthorn stars Jack Gunston, Luke Breust, Jarryd Roughead and Liam Shiels.

“She’s another one of the middle-distance fillies brigade,” O’Brien said.

“First start, Tavistock filly. I think we won this race last year with a Tavistock gelding in Young Werther having his first start, so it’d be nice if history could repeat, but you’ll go there with no expectation other than she’s going to go there and have a good education.

“If she hits the line and wins, we’ll be thrilled.”

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