The Sportsman Weekend

O’Brien confident his pair can make an impact down the straight


TRAINER Danny O’Brien will launch a two-pronged attack on the first stakes race of the new season – the Listed Aurie’s Star Handicap – and is quietly confident he has the arsenal to claim his first win in the race.

O’Brien will saddle up stable veteran Order Of Command and the promising Banquo with both horses right in the market for the 1200m sprint down the Flemington straight.

Five-year-old Banquo finished a half-length second behind The Astrologis­t in the Listed Sprint Series Final over the same course and distance last start but a 2.5kg turn around in weight gives him his chance to reverse the result.

“I can’t see why not. He’s third-up now so he’s at his best,” O’Brien said.

“He ran really well the other day but just could get past him (The Astrologis­t).

“Aside from the weight turn around in his favour, we’ve put blinkers on him to help him find a length or two so we’ve got no excuses.”

The son of Written Tycoon has two wins from his 15 starts with both coming over 1400m but O’Brien isn’t perturbed by that stat.

“He’s a very competitiv­e horse and doesn’t run a bad race.

Stablemate Order Of Command has been out of the winners’ circle for over 12 months but produced some very good efforts in that time including a second to Eduardo in the Group 1 The Galaxy in March.

His latest effort was an eighth to Sansom in the

Bletchingl­y Stakes at Caulfield two weeks ago where O’Brien said he was quite unlucky.

“He just didn’t get room the last 300m and he had a bit to offer. He definitely should have finished a bit closer.

“He too has good record down the straight. He’s got to give most of the field a bit of weight but he’s in very good shape.

“He’s been a terrific servant of the stable over number of season and it we would love to win another nice race with him.”

 ??  ?? Banquo can turn the tables on The Astrologis­t at Flemington tomorrow.
Banquo can turn the tables on The Astrologis­t at Flemington tomorrow.

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