O’Brien Looses Vigor Ahead of 2011 Melbourne Cup

Successful Flemington-based trainer Danny O’Brien yesterday announced the retirement of his seven-year-old gelding Vigor who was being prepared for a 2011 Melbourne Cup bid.


Shamrocker is the early favourite to win the 2011 Melbourne Cup for trainer Danny O'Brien

O’Brien, however, still has a genuine chance of preparing his maiden Melbourne Cup winner with his dual Classics winning mare Shamrocker heading towards Flemington’s $6.2 million feature.

O’Reilly seven-year-old Vigor resumed after a seven month spell at Caulfield on August 27 and failed to beat home any other runners with finishing last in the Listed Slickpix Stakes (1100m).

That run has turned out to be the veteran’s swansong, with O’Brien confirming scans had revealed a growth in Vigor’s throat that had prompted his retirement.

A winner of eight of their 28 career starts, Vigor’s biggest turf triumph was in the 2009 Makybe Diva Stakes.

Beating home Peter Moody’s former Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy by a nose in the Group 2 Flemington feature in the spring of 2009, O’Brien said Vigor had suffered continued setbacks since the Makybe Diva two years ago, which was their last time in the winner’s stall.

Since then, Vigor’s most notable finish with his third behind Viewed in the 2009 Caulfield Cup.

“He drew the outside barrier when he ran third in the Caulfield Cup, then didn’t gain a run in the Melbourne Cup,” O’Brien explained.

O’Brien’s spring Cups luck is on track to change this year with his four-year-old O’Reilly mare Shamrocker sitting at the top of the 2011 Melbourne Cup odds paying $11 through Luxbet.

Winner of the unique Australian Guineas – AJC Derby double as a three-year-old last season, Shamrocker resumed with a credible eighth to Peter Moody’s Group 1 winning Kiwi King’s Rose in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m).

Shamrocker is also nominated for the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in October.

She is nicely priced in both markets, Shamrocker at a quote of $12 to take out the 2011 Caulfield Cup through Luxbet and $21 in the Cox Plate 2011 odds.

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