O’Brien changes plans for Ly­cur­gus after rain

The Sportsman Midweek - - Trackwork - MATHEW TOO­GOOD

DANNY O’Brien has re­vised plans for Ballarat Cup scratch­ing Ly­cur­gus and the trainer be­lieves

stayer can get a re­sult in an­other up­com­ing coun­try fea­ture.

O’Brien opted to with­draw Ly­cur­gus from last Sat­ur­day’s Ballarat Cup a few hours be­fore the race once the track was down­graded from a soft (6) to a soft (7).

The Ballarat Cup (2200m) had been one of two tar­gets for Ly­cur­gus this prepa­ra­tion along with the $ 300,000 Listed Pak­en­ham Cup (2500m) on De­cem­ber 8.

The re­mains a fo­cus but hav­ing missed the Ballarat race O’Brien plans to also run five-year- old at Moonee Val­ley on Sat­ur­day as a lead-in to Pak­en­ham.

“He’ll go Moonee Val­ley to run in the 2040m bench­mark-90 and then he will Pak­en­ham Cup off a sev­en­day break,” O’Brien said.

“He’s al­ways been a horse that we’ve had trou­ble with on wet tracks. He strug­gles ground worse than a soft five.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing but he can’t han­dle it, and the weather is the weather.

“He’ll get his chance in these next two starts. So hope­fully he can get the Pak­en­ham Cup.”

Ly­cur­gus won the Listed Galilee Se­ries Fi­nal (2400m) as a three-yearold and claimed three city stay­ing races in Mel­bourne last prepa­ra­tion.

He has had two starts this cam­paign, fin­ish­ing un­placed over an un­suit­able dis­tance at weight­for-age in the Group 2 Crys­tal Mile first-up.

He loomed up to hit the front in a 2000m bench­mark-90 dur­ing Mel­bourne Cup car­ni­val at Flem­ing­ton be­fore fin­ish­ing third to Top Prospect who is ex­pected to be among his Moonee Val­ley ri­vals on Sat­ur­day.

Ly­cur­gus heads to Moonee Val­ley on Sat­ur­day after be­ing scratched from the Ballarat Cup.

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