Danny O’Brien is confident that his former Group One placegetter Vigor can make a successful return to the track when he resumes his racing career in the Group Two Memsie Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield next month.
O’Brien had hoped to bring the gelding back into action for the Sydney autumn carnival, however after he tailed off in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley, O’Brien knew something wasn’t right with the horse.
“He had a small growth on in his throat which had to be taken out. It was a minor operation and he has come back really well,” O’Brien said.
“He has been back in the stable a while and is doing well in the early stages of his preparation. He will resume in the Memsie Stakes and we will map out a plan from there.”
Vigor was a star for O’Brien earlier in his career and as a four year old he was able to string together five consecutive wins. However it was in the spring carnival of 2009 that the gelding really made a name for himself. He won the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington, beating home the likes of (2009/10 horse of the year) Typhoon Tracy, St George’s Stakes winner Heart of Dreams and Master O’Reilly.
In the Caulfield Cup of 2009 Vigor looked the winner at the 200m mark before Brad Rawiller got Viewed up on the inside to deliver another Caulfield Cup for Bart Cummings. Then, despite his Group One success and brave effort in the traditional lead up race, Vigor was denied the chance to start in the Melbourne Cup.
At the time O’Brien was furious because Vigor’s success in the Makybe Diva Stakes meant he was weighted out of races such as the Geelong Cup and the Lexus, meaning the horse had no chance of earning enough prize money to gain an entry into the Cup.
O’Brien gave Vigor another chance in last year’s spring carnival and while he couldn’t manage a big win, he was consistent and ran fourth in the Liston Stakes and third in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
At this early stage in betting, Vigor is rated an $81.00 chance in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
While Vigor is attempting to get his career back on track, O’Brien is excited about the prospects of his two leading three year old’s Running Tall and Decircles.
The pair ran the quinella in the in last year’s Group Two VRC Sires Produce Stakes and O’Brien is confident that both will be effective over a bit more ground this campaign.
“Both horses have done really well in the paddock and I’m really happy with both of them. We have a pretty strong team of three year olds coming through from next season.” O’Brien said.