Thursday, 30 June 2011
: Warwick Farm trainer Ross Simpson is hoping to give former Kiwi jockey Chris O'Brien a winner at his first ride in Queensland at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
| Chris O'Brien|
Photo by Racing and Sports
O'Brien has been based in Australia since 1997 but surprisingly has never ridden in Queensland.
A win in Saturday's $200,000 Glasshouse Handicap on comeback four-year-old Viking Legend
will be compensation for O'Brien after he missed a golden opportunity to ride his first Queensland winner when he had to forfeit the mount on Sincero in the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 11.
O'Brien had won eight races on Sincero leading up to the Stradbroke but had to forfeit the mount in the million dollar race because he was too heavy to ride the three-year-old at his correct weight.
Viking Legend's trainer Ross Simpson, who trains in partnership with Tracey Barnes, also is a stranger to Queensland as he hasn't had a starter north of the border since 2002.
He has stuck with O'Brien for the Glasshouse after the Wyong-based jockey rode Viking Legend in his eye catching return to racing from a 14-months spell at Randwick at his first start under his care.
The former Gai Waterhouse-trained Group One placegetter finished fifth, beaten only a length, under 58.5kg over 1400m after he gave the leaders 15 lengths start on a heavy track .
Viking Legend's form for Waterhouse included a third in the 2009 Victoria Derby and second to Shoot Out in the 2010 Randwick Guineas before he suffered a tendon injury that required an operation.
O'Brien has called on the in-form Damien Browne to give him some pointers about the Caloundra track.
Browne, who will be riding Woorim in the Glasshouse Sprint, have been friends since they began riding as
apprentices in New Zealand.