Christmas quandary for O’Brien and his sprinters
KEEPING in-form horses apart is a tough task for any trainer.
That’s the problem facing Danny O’Brien when it comes to his sprinters La Chasseuse and Immortality.
Both horses have accepted for Wednesday’s Listed $100,000 Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield but O’Brien’s assistant trainer Gino Mata said Immortality could be reserved for Flemington on January 1.
It is always hard when you have multiples runners in a race because you can only win the race once,’’ Mata said.
If we can find races for all our horses that are suitable and not have them clashing then obviously that is better.’’
The other option for both horses is the Group Three $200,000 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on January 1.
Mata said he felt the Standish would suit Immortality better than La Chasseuse, who has been set for the Christmas Stakes.
La Chasseuse was set for this race well before Immortality won at Caulfield ( on December 8),’’ he said.
She has won at Caulfield before and around the bend there she is more suited than in the Standish.
And we are definitely leaning towards the Standish with Immortality at this stage.’’
Immortality, an improving son of Lion Hunter, was devastating in winning at Caulfield last start.
Drawing barrier 13 of 14 in the Christmas Stakes could be a decisive factor in determining whether O’Brien sticks with the Standish as his goal.
Meanwhile, La Chasseuse returned from a short break to finish a closing second to Grand Duels over 1000m at Flemington on December 15.
Mata said La Chasseuse, also a four-year-old by Lion Hunter, has come on in leaps and bounds since that run.
She had a freshen up (after her narrow defeat on Oaks Day) and was always going to be a little underdone, which Danny said before the race,’’ he said.
That run turned out to be a $15,000 result for what was a barrier trial. To run second behind Grand Duels underdone that day was a good preparation for this race.’’
The mare has drawn ideally in gate three for the Christmas Stakes which will be her first start in a black type event.
The O’Brien stable has won eight stakes races already this season including the Group One Caulfield Cup with Master O’Reilly.
Consistent stayer Judgment Justified, who ran second at Sandown last Wednesday, gets his big chance to break through in the Allan Wicks Handicap (2400m).
He bumped into a very promising stayer at Sandown last week in Banana Man and there are no such horses engaged for his Boxing Day task, which will be his fourth run this campaign.
Christmas present . . . La Chasseuse (James Winks) returns to Caulfield on Wednesday, where she won on Cup Day