Christ­mas quandary for O’Brien and his sprint­ers

The Sportsman Special Issue - - 88 - By RAY HICKSON

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.