O'Brien planning steady start for returning Rekindling

Melbourne Cup hero back in training in Ireland.

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Joseph O’Brien is keen to start off slowly with Rekindling after welcoming the 2017 Melbourne Cup winner back to his yard.

The Lloyd Williams-owned six-year-old hit the headlines when giving O’Brien a landmark success in the ‘race that stops a nation’ as he beat Johannes Vermeer, trained by his father, Aidan, by half a length.

He had one run subsequent to that, in March last year when in the care of Liam Howley, before being retired to stud, but is now in training in Ireland again.

O’Brien told Sky Sports Racing: “He was very, very good to us a couple of years ago. I suppose it’s fairly obvious things haven’t gone smoothly for him since then, but it’s great to have him back in the yard.

“We’ll aim nice and low and then gradually move our way up into some better targets as the year progresses. We’re just excited to get him started first of all and then we can go from there.”

He added: “I suppose you could say on his three-year-old form there’s a big chance he could turn into that type of (Cup) horse, but obviously there has been plenty of water under the bridge between now and when he won the Melbourne Cup.

“We’ll get a bit of confidence on the board first of all and take it race by race from there, see what Lloyd would like to have a crack at with him. The most important thing will be to get him back on track and try to get him some confidence.”

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