Lightly raced colt Of The Brave will kick start a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival bid targeting the Coolmore Stud Stakes 2015 in late October with a run in Caulfield’s Vain Stakes in mid-August.
One of the key support acts on PB Lawrence Stakes Day, the $150,000 Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) is set to run on August 15 and has been named by Mornington trainer Mark Riley as a starting point for his son of Starspangledbanner Of The Brave this coming campaign.
The rising three-year-old has had just the three runs to date for two wins, both of which were at Caulfield in Black-Type company including the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) back in February.
In that he defeated the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Pride Of Dubai who went on to win the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) back at the track on February 28.
Things went amiss for Of The Brave in the same autumn classic however and the promising juvenile could only manage to run 12 lengths away 12th to the winner in what was his most recent run.
There were excuses in the Blue Diamond though according to Riley who spoke to Racing Victoria this week.
“He pulled up crook,” Riley said.
“He pulled up with an inflammation of the airway – there was a bit of mucus there.
“We scoped him on the Wednesday and he was clear and the horse showed no signs of it.
“It’s just one of those things.
“He’s already got the score on the board, he beat the winner of the Blue Diamond the start before and I know the horse has come back really well.
“I’m really happy with him.”
Riley is now keen to get Of The Brave back to the track and will do so in the Vain Stakes next month as the galloper heads towards a Grand Final run in the $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington Racecourse on Victoria Derby Day, which kicks off the Melbourne Cup Carnival this year on October 31.
Riley has had just the one Coolmore Stud Stakes runner over the years, but hopes Of The Brave can be his second all going well this Spring.
Before the Vain Stakes, Riley will give the young sprinter a jumpout at Sandown this Tuesday, with his other Coolmore Stud Stakes lead-up penciled in as the $200,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 12.
“He’ll kick off in the Vain Stakes at this stage,” Riley said.
“His main aim for the spring is the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
“He might only run in the Vain, the Danehill and the Coolmore – we’ll see how he goes.
“He’s a lovely horse and he’s come back really well. He’s strengthened up and developed in his time off.”
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