The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winning trainer Danny O’Brien looks to have a genuine chance in next month’s 2020 Caulfield Cup with nicely-bred import Orderofthegarter winning a ballot free ride into the $5 million feature via Saturday’s MRC Foundation Cup.
O’Brien trained Vow And Declare for a second in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last spring, the galloper going on to win the iconic Melbourne Cup over the two-miles at Flemington that November.
He is now out to go one better in the opening leg of the Spring Cups double this season with the Lloyd Williams-raced Orderofthegarter who is into the Caulfield Cup field thanks to an easy victory in the Group 3 $160,000 MRC Foundation Cup (2000m).
Previously known as the Naturalism Stakes, the MRC Foundation Cup winner gets a ballot free ride into the Caulfield Cup and Orderofthegarter secured that saluting for the punters on Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day.
The Irish-bred Galileo entire came off a two-year break from racing before joining O’Brien in the winter and has gone from strength to strength for the stable.
“Very happy,” O’Brien told the media post-win.
“Obviously he got a nice run from a good draw. He’s just been building this guy, coming off a two-year lay-off.
“He came to us sound and fit, we just built him up from scratch.
“I think he’s still got improvement to come heading towards the Caulfield Cup in two months’ time.
“He’s a lovely horse.
“Very, very genuine. He just tries very hard every time we send him out there.”
His first Australian start for Liam Howley produced a second at Flemington back in September 2018 and the horse, now seven-years-old, didn’t race again until this July.
He strung together two more seconds with O’Brien before getting the run of the race in the MRC Foundation Cup to break his maiden status down under.
Orderofthegarter was well-supported in betting and ace hoop Damien Oliver continued his association with the progressive stayer giving him an absolute peach of a ride.
Oliver got the horse into the ideal position straight after the jump, the top fancy settled fourth just off the pace as Haky and then Peter Moody’s brave mare In Good Health led the field around.
In Good Health, coming off an upset win in the Heatherlie Handicap, made the big mid-race move to sweep around and take up front running.
Oliver kept Orderofthegarter travelling quietly before producing him on the straight, the galloper tackling In Good Health at the 100m to sprint clear and salute.
On the line the winner had three-quarters of a length to spare over the fast-finishing Chapada, with the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Steel Prince also running on well late for third.
“It was a great ride from Damien,” O’Brien said.
“In the first 300 metres he made sure he held his spot and kept Dr Drill wide and it was exactly the spot on the map we wanted to be.
“He always travelled the winner, so we’re very happy.”
Orderofthegarter, who might now receive a small penalty, is currently allocated just 50kg for the Caulfield Cup and has subsequently firmed in from $21 to $14 in pre-field Caulfield Cup 2020 betting at Ladbrokes.com.au – full markets available here.
2020 MRC Foundation Cup Results
|1||9||ORDEROFTHEGARTER (IRE)||Danny O’Brien||Damien Oliver||4||56kg||$2.90F|
|2||11||CHAPADA||Michael Moroney||Daniel Stackhouse||0.75L||7||55kg||$21|
|3||6||STEEL PRINCE (IRE)||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Jye McNeil||0.85L||3||58.5kg||$11|
|4||10||IN GOOD HEALTH||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1.6L||14||55kg||$21|
|5||13||POLLY GREY (NZ)||Chris Waller||John Allen||2.85L||10||55kg||$31|
|6||14||GAME KEEPER||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||3.05L||8||55kg||$10|
|7||12||DABIYR (IRE)||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||4.05L||2||55kg||$13|
|8||7||MAHAMEDEIS||Nick Ryan||Rhys McLeod||4.15L||1||57.5kg||$13|
|9||15||THINK WE’RE DUE||Andrew Noblet||William Pike||4.35L||13||55kg||$31|
|10||8||GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR)||Archie Alexander||Damian Lane||4.55L||6||56.5kg||$61|
|11||19e||SUPER GIRL||Josh Julius||Billy Egan||5.05L||9||55kg||$91|
|12||20e||SHANDY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Daniel Moor||6.05L||15||55kg||$31|
|13||18e||KINANE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Michael Dee||6.35L||11||55kg||$11|
|14||17e||THE KING (IRE)||Lindsey Smith||Dean Yendall||6.85L||16||55kg||$101|
|15||4||HAKY (IRE)||Archie Alexander||Declan Bates||10.85L||12||59kg||$71|
|16||3||DR DRILL (GB)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Craig Williams||12.6L||5||59kg||$6|
|2||CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (IRE)||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Jamie Mott||0|
|1||MIRAGE DANCER (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ben Melham||0|
|5||SHARED AMBITION (IRE)||Chris Waller||0|
|16||DJUKON (GB)||Chris Waller||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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