The Danny O’Brien and Damien Oliver show continued where they had left off on Thursday when Oliver brought O’Brien’s Banquo home to win the $175,000, listed World Horse Racing Springtime Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
On Thursday the combination claimed the Group 1 VRC Oaks over 2500m with Miami Bound (NZ) and Saturday’s win was just as comprehensive. Oliver sent the Written Tycoon colt through to take over the running from the tiring early leader Hilo at the 300m and from the 200m Oliver then sent the colt away to win with a clear 1L margin.
The win was a good step up for Banquo from winning at Sale over 1400m on October 27th and an earlier show of form when second over 1300m at Bendigo on October 9th.
Sophie’s Choice (Fastnet Rock) and Dwayne Dunn were second with Regimental Band (I Am Invincible) and Brenton Avdulla third, the margin a half-head and earning stakes placing black type for both fillies.
The time was 1.24.09 on the Good 4 track with the final 600m in 35.27. Banquo paid $4.60 on fixed odds and $4.30 on the NSW tote. The $2.30 favourite Knickpoint was seventh after racing at the rear and not running on.
Banquo and Damien Oliver, picture Quentinjlang.com
“He is a class colt. He is a beautiful style of colt, full brother to Booker. He was a gorgeous yearling," said O'Brien.
"He has got some really good friends of mine from New Zealand owning him and they wanted to see what he could do here in Australia. We have given him a quiet entry this spring, but it has always been based around getting him here to Cup Week. Now we have got a platform to aim up to some good races in the autumn.
“I will talk to Damien, potentially we might enter next Saturday in the Sandown Guineas. We’ve been pretty soft on him this spring. He’s only had a couple of runs in maidens and then he came here. It will be either that or come back next autumn and hope that we can get him to the Australian Guineas," he said.
"He is a cracking type, a lovely colt and we have always had a nice opinion of him. He was always going to reach stakes class, and he is still reaching his potential," said Oliver.
“He has got a good attitude and a good race brain too, he puts himself in a nice position.”
Banauo, out of the Flying Spur mare Noondie, took his record to the two wins from five starts and stakes of $154,450 for connections including Bruce Perry, Lou Petagna, Garry and Mark Chittick, Mr A S Williams, Mr J M Chapman, Jomara Bloodstock Ltd and Dame L P Goddard.