She was a beaten favourite on her two starts as a juvenile, but the benefit of another winter on her back and better ground clearly suited the daughter of Galileo when she made a winning seasonal debut last month at the Curragh.
Tomorrow’s race represents a massive step up in class, but O’Brien has always held her in high regard.
“We thought she was a very good filly as a two-year-old and she never won. Her work was always exceptional,” said O’Brien.
“We didn’t really know what to expect on her first run this year and that was the first time she showed on the track what she’s shows us at home all the time.
“We were delighted with her first run.”
Dermot Weld had hoped to bring Big Break over, but she will need a little more time. However, the County Kildare handler still has a contender in Rasmeyaa, owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum.
“She’s always been a nice filly. Mr Weld has always liked her from the word go,” said Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager Angus Gold.
“She’s always had a bit of temperament about her and was always a bit keen in her work.
“Jockey Pat Smullen and the team have done a lot of work on her just to get her to settle and she has been better recently.
French trainer Mikel Delzangles is hoping What A Name can give him his second British Classic in three years.
Despite having won a couple of Group Ones in his homeland previously, he was a relative unknown in Britain when Makfi, a cast-off from Marcus Tregoning and the Shadwell operation, landed the 2000 Guineas in 2010.
Since then, Delzangles has gone on to prove his talent on the world stage with Dunaden winning the Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong Vase and Flotilla being successful at the Breeders’ Cup in November.
What A Name’s price for the Guineas has been steadily contracting in recent weeks and now only Henry Cecil’s Hot Snap is preventing her from being favourite after she came through her prep run with flying colours.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Delzangles.
“The filly looks in really good form but obviously it will be a tough race.
“This has been the plan since the end of last year and thankfully nothing has gone wrong to stop us.
“Her prep race in the Prix Imprudence was very good. She won but she didn’t have to work too hard, it was just what we wanted.
“After that, I’m sure she’ll have improved.”
Having come through her final serious piece of work last weekend, confidence in is high in the Hot Snap camp.
“I think she has certainly come on since then (Nell Gwyn). She definitely will need to, but her work was pretty professional on Saturday,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, owner Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager.
“Shane Fetherstonhaugh, who rode Frankel (in his work), rode her and was he very happy with her.
“She’s coming into the race in great shape.”
Sky Lantern is 3lb better off for just over two lengths with Hot Snap from their run in the Nell Gwyn.
Richard Hannon jnr, son and assistant to his father, feels she holds good claims of turning the tables.
“This time we’re 3lb better off and she’ll be a little bit fitter. Hughesie (Richard Hughes) was just trying to nurse her home because she had a penalty, he didn’t want to go for her too early and this thing (Hot Snap) came by and went ’whoosh’ and ’whoosh’ again, she was very impressive.
“I’m not saying we’re going to beat Hot Snap but we’ve got more of a chance than we had last time.
“With the ground the way it’s gone and the difference in ratings, Maureen is only 106, so there’s 5lb between them.
“Hughesie probably has more of an affinity for Sky Lantern than Maureen but (Olivier) Peslier will suit her perfectly. If she has any chance of getting a mile she’ll run a huge race.”