The 2019-20 season has been a big one for trainer Danny O’Brien and he believes his stable has the firepower to continue the success in the next year.
With three weeks of this season remaining, O’Brien is closing in on 100 wins and he sits third in the Melbourne trainers’ premiership with 41 winners highlighted by Vow And Declare’s Melbourne Cup victory last spring.
Along with the Cup, O’Brien also prepared Miami Bound to win last spring’s Group One VRC Oaks and Russian Camelot stamped himself as a potential star in the South Australian Derby in May, becoming the first northern hemisphere-bred three-year-old to win a Derby in Australia.
“Obviously it’s been a great season for us,” O’Brien said.
“The Melbourne Cup was naturally the highlight but we’ve had a lot of other really nice horses come through.
“Miami Bound started the season as a maiden and she won the Oaks and Russian Camelot started the season unraced and he won a Derby.
“We’ve got a really nice team of horses that have put their hand up for us this year and an even better group heading into next year.”
O’Brien is excited about the squad of horses – some well exposed and others still to emerge – he has heading into the 2020-21 season.
“We’ve got a lot of talented young horses that are about the same position as what Miami Bound and Russian Camelot were 12 months ago,” he said.
“So we’re hoping that they put their hand up for us.”
Russian Camelot is the current equal favourite for this spring’s Cox Plate and is favourite for the Melbourne Cup.
He is among the Flemington trainer’s spring team who are ticking over at his coastal training property near Thirteenth Beach in Victoria.
“He couldn’t be better,” O’Brien said of Russian Camelot.
“He’s in great order and we’re really pleased with him. He’s down at Thirteenth Beach most mornings getting ready for the spring.”
Defending Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare is doing likewise.
“He’s in great shape too,” O’Brien said.
Another of the stable’s main spring prospects is Adelaide Cup winner King Of Leogrance.
“I think King Of Leogrance is a horse we think can be right around the mark in the Melbourne Cup,” O’Brien said.
“And we’ve also got some nice rising three-year-olds to come through as well.”