Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien discusses his weekend runners with an early Saturday start Down Under followed by runners at Doncaster, Galway and Leopardstown and a couple on Sunday...
"State Of Rest has a progressive profile and ran a stormer to finish a close third in the Champagne Stakes at this track last month."
Moonee Valley, Australia
Big price but you never know
06:15 - Buckhurst
We are delighted that Buckhurst has got into the Cox Plate as a reserve. He ran a solid race to finish seventh in the Caulfield Cup last weekend and the return to this shorter trip shouldn't be a problem for him. He isn't as well drawn as he was last week and this unique track isn't a good place to get caught wide around. He is likely to be a big price, but if he gets a nice spin through the race, you never know.
Good place to start
14:47 - Triplicate
Triplicate took time to get the hang of chasing last season, but he was jumping better by the end of the season and can hopefully put that experience to good use this season. This looks a nice starting point for what will hopefully be a good season for him.
Entitled to be in the mix
14:55 - State Of Rest
State Of Rest has a progressive profile and ran a stormer to finish a close third in the Champagne Stakes at this track last month. The way he shaped there suggests that he will stay this longer trip and an ease in the ground shouldn't inconvenience him too much. That form entitles him to be in the mix and we are hopeful of seeing a big run from him.
Two promising fillies
13:20 - Albedo and Jo March
Albedo is a nice filly that is bred to stay at least a mile-and-a-quarter next season. We'll be hoping she shows some promise for the future.
Jo March is a more speedily-bred filly and has shown some promise at home. We won't burden her with big expectations on her debut and hopefully she'll run a promising race with a view to the future.
Sheer Chance aiming to bounce back
14:29 - Dense Star and Sheer Chance
Dense Star is dropping in class here after contesting stakes races since winning a maiden last month. She has to prove her stamina for this longer trip, but I'd be hopeful she'll stay.
Sheer Chance comes in with a far less exposed profile than Dense Star. She has shaped with promise a couple of times, but was disappointing on her latest start. Hopefully she can bounce back with a big run in this.
High hopes for trio
16:14 - Raise You, Numerian and Pugin
Raise You disappointed us on his first start for us in June, but showed more promise at the Curragh last time. The hope will be that he can build on that and get back to something like his best form.
Numerian has been acquitting himself well all season look in stakes company and can be excused his most recent effort in the Northfields Handicap at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend as he met with significant interference that cost him his winning chance. This course and distance will suit him well and I'd be expecting a good run from him.
Pugin faces a tough task at this level, but will relish the soft ground and will hopefully run a good race.
Hoping for more improvement
16:49 - Nordic Aurora
Nordic Aurora ran his best race yet on his latest start and should find it a bit easier in handicap company. Hopefully he can continue his progression and run a big race in this.
Baron Samedi has been a revelation in the last few months, winning four handicaps in a row and improving 40lb. This obviously represents a big step up in class for him, but we think it's worth a shot. Testing ground won't be a problem for him and hitting the frame would be a great result for him.
Winnable race for a horse in form
Speak Easy is a horse we've always really liked and he shaped very well without winning over fences last season. That experience should stand to him and I'd be hopeful he will have a good season. This looks a winnable race for a horse with his form.
Capable of competing
Konitho has shown promise in recent starts over fences and will be helped by this entrance into handicap company. This longer trip could well suit him and he is capable of competing off this sort of mark.