D-day for Carini in the Easter Cup 2024

Trainer Danny O’Brien is expecting a set of blinkers and a different race shape to spark Carini back into winning form at Caulfield.

French-bred Carini heads to the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) on Saturday looking to land a second win in Australia.

After starting his career in France, securing three wins from six starts, Carini registered a victory at his second start for O’Brien when successful at Flemington last September.

Carini had been on a path towards the Caulfield Cup, but after finishing fifth in the ballot exempt Cup contest, the Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) a week before the Caulfield Cup, the decision was made to spell the gelding.

Carini has returned this campaign in good order but unable to add to his winning record.

He finished fourth first-up in the Listed Elms Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on February 17 before progressing to the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, finishing fifth.

At his most recent outing, Carini tracked the speed before finishing third in the Listed Victoria Gold Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on March 16.

“The two in front of him quickened better on the corner that day and left him,” O’Brien told RSN.

“But he was still solid enough though. He chased hard and there was a long gap from him to the rest of the field.”

With noted front-runner Deny Knowledge in Saturday’s field, O’Brien is expecting a strong pace on Saturday while he has also decided to put blinkers on the gelding in a bid to make him concentrate.

“It’s a bit of a D-day for him on Saturday,” O’Brien said.

“We’ve decided to put a set of blinkers on him and we’re going to get a completely different race shape with Deny Knowledge in the field.

“It’s going to be far from a sit and sprint event, it will be a proper mile-and-a-quarter gallop and we’re hoping with the blinkers and the different race shape that Carini can stand up and hopefully put himself right in the finish.”

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