Joseph O'Brien: Rekindling can show old spark at Leopardstown

Joseph O'Brien with Melbourne Cup
Joseph celebrating Rekindling's Melbourne Cup win
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Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien has seven runners at Leopardstown on Saturday, including a Melbourne Cup winner, so here are his views on them all...

16:45 – Rekindling

"It will be great to get Rekindling back on the track. He’ll always be a special horse to everyone here and it was a real thrill for him to be sent back to us... Hopefully he’ll show some of his old spark and this will be the start of a good season for him."

Leopardstown

Vafortino could run another big race

14:10 - Vafortino and Royal Blend

Vafortino made a really good debut at Navan last month. He was green, but got a really good education in amongst horses and came home well. He should really benefit from that experience and will hopefully be able to show good improvement here. The problem is his very wide draw which will make things difficult for him, but hopefully he can get a decent slot and run a big race.

Royal Blend missed the kick and raced greenly on debut. She should benefit from that experience and show more here.

Plenty of promise for the future

>14:35 - Toshizou

Toshizou is a horse that we like. He has been doing everything right at home and hopefully he can show it on the track. As always with our newcomers, we won't be burdening him with big expectations, but we hope he'll show plenty of promise for the future.

Hoping for a strong return

16:15 - Cerberus

Cerberus did really well over hurdles since he last ran on the Flat, winning twice and finishing in the frame in a couple of Grade 1 juvenile hurdles. That level of form makes him look well handicapped back on the Flat, but it should be said that it doesn't always transfer from one to the other. He had a break after the Triumph Hurdle and is ready to start back now. His draw isn't ideal, but hopefully he can make a strong return to action.

Good starting point for special horse

16:45 - Rekindling

It will be great to get Rekindling back on the track. He'll always be a special horse to everyone here and it was a real thrill for him to be sent back to us. He has had some injury issues since his win in the Melbourne Cup, so we've taken our time with him and he's moving well at the minute. We've had our eye on this race as a starting point for him and it looks a good spot for him. Hopefully he'll show some of his old spark and this will be the start of a good season for him.

Ready for the step up to stronger field

17:15 - Patrick Sarsfield

Patrick Sarsfield has really started to deliver on his early promise this year. He has been very good in winning his last two starts in handicaps, particularly in the Nasrullah Handicap at Navan last time. The race didn't really pan out ideally for him, but he was very gutsy and held on well. He looks ready for stakes company now and with this course and distance promising to really suit him, we'd be hopeful he'll acquit himself well in this stronger race.

Hoping to put disappointments behind him

17:45 - Dark Vader

Dark Vader has been a bit disappointing in his last couple of starts. Going back around a bend should help him and he is well drawn, but it would be hard to be confident in his chance based on his recent form.

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