Trainer Embracing big year ahead

Trainer Danny O’Brien is confident of a big 2019 as his stable finishes this year in strong fashion. Embrace Me surged from the rear of the field to win emphatically at Moonee Valley on Saturday in what was O’Brien’s fifth metro winner of December.

The 16-time Group 1 winning trainer has surged to 9th on the Metropolitan Premiership thanks to his 10 city winners so far this season, which have come from just 44 runners. His strike rate of 22.72% strike rate is clearly superior to all his Top 10 rivals.

“We are having a terrific run at the moment and getting rewards for holding some horses back from the Spring. Plenty of planning has gone into to making sure we have a big season and we are tracking in the right direction,” O’Brien said.

“We are making great use of 13th Beach, which is complimented perfectly by our private 2000m track, as well as using the Geelong course proper and our Flemington facilities. And the horses are doing the talking with their performances.”

Saturday’s result was back-to-back victories for Embrace Me, who is by O'Brien's Newmarket Handicap hero Shamexpress, and third win from her seventh race start.

“Damien rode her very well and it’s great to see her hit such a rich vein of form,” O'Brien said.

“It’s always terrific to train a winner by a sire that you trained yourself, and to see her come with a withering run like Shamexpress used to do was exciting.”

O’Brien said he will continue to step the NZ-bred three-year-old through the grades before testing her in stakes grade if she proves good enough.

“She has more wins in her, and if she proves good enough she will get her chance in a nice race in the future.”

Pic by Racing Photos