Five-year-old Richie’s Vibe is back to his peak fitness level according to trainer Paul Beshara. It couldn’t come a moment sooner as the gelding is set to defend his title in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Richie’s Vibe scored the biggest win of his career last January, winning the Australia Stakes a head in front of Moment Of Change. However the gelding failed to impress in either of his following two starts – the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) or Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
After a six month spell, the gelding was set for a dominant spring campaign beginning with the Group 3 Theshark.com.au Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 30.
After finishing ok in seventh place, Richie’s Vibe suffered a hamstring injury that saw him sidelined for another six months.
Despite the struggles and lack of preparation, Beshara is confident he can make his presence known in the 2015 Australia Stakes after returning to his best.
“The horse is looking really good and is in great order, I’m very happy with him,” Beshara told Racing Victoria.
“He hurt himself last year during his first-up race but everything is fine with him now. He had two months off in the paddock and has come back in well.
“He’s very good fresh and I thought he was suited going into the race first-up.”
Richie’s Vibe is a $6.50 hopeful in the Australia Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, behind firm favourite Dissident ($2).
Beshara believes the Peter Moody-trained horse deserves the top spot in the odds after his Group One success during the spring but that Richie’s Vibe can easily finish in the first three.
The gelding will get a good start to the race after drawing barrier three with Damien Oliver to ride.
Betting markets for the 2015 Australia Stakes are now live at Ladbrokes.com.au. The online bookmaker is offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on this Saturday’s race, which means an additional 20% on any of your winnings!