Graff will head down the Flemington straight in the Standish Handicap on Friday with the plan to prime the 5 year old for an assault on the Magic Millions Carnival where he will compete in the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer did have the option to take Graff up to QLD earlier and give him a trial to dust off the cobwebs but is instead using the victorian sprint as an ‘in the deep end’ challenge.
There were only 8 nominations for the Standish Handicap so the VRC extended the deadline for noms by a day which allowed O’Brien to enter. Graff will run with 59kg on his back making him the top weight in the field.
“I was toying with the idea of trialling him or running him down the straight,” O’Brien said. “The noms came up a bit skinny, so we will run him.
“He has raced in higher class throughout his career, so it is probably a drop back in grade for him. Certainly from his last start behind Bivouac in the Sprint Classic.
“Even though he has 59kg, he is not in it too badly.”
Graff made the transition to the O’Brien stable late last year and made his debut across Spring Carnival in October before being spelled in November.
Champion hoop Damien Oliver will be taking the ride on New Years Day with Graff currently a $6.50 shot to win the race. The current favourite at the time of writing is Sirius Suspect for the Saab Hasan stable.
Check out Graff’s last run in the Darley Sprint Classic here: