Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
The 2019 Melbourne Cup has been identified by connections as a possible spring target for progressive young stayer Vow And Declare after his easy Tattersall’s Cup win at Eagle Farm.
A three-year-old son of Declaration Of War, the Danny O’Brien-trained gelding proved his ability to run further than 2400m when beating home his older rivals on Tiara Day in the Group 3 $200,000 Tattersall’s Cup (3000m).
Victorian horseman O’Brien pounced on the chance to test the chestnut’s staying prowess with the Tattersall’s Cup extended in distance for the 2019 edition.
Not only did Vow And Declare win the event, but he held more than three lengths on the line over the Kris Lees-trained runner-up Big Duke – a former fourth placegetter in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.
The $8 million Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) could now be on the cards for Vow And Declare on Tuesday November 5 should the rising four-year-old return in the same outstanding form this spring.
The Tattersall’s Cup run was a Plan B performance for the galloper after he finished runner-up behind Mr Quickie on Stradbroke Day a fortnight ago in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m).
Finishing second instead of first in the Derby proved to have a silver lining however according to part-owner Geoff Corrigan who confirmed Melbourne Cup talks.
“If we had the run of the winner we probably would have won the Derby, but we wouldn’t have been here for this race,” he told Racing Queensland.
“It worked out ideally because we needed to see if he was a good stayer because I know Danny [O’Brien] has his eye on a certain 3200 metre race in the spring.
“We needed to see whether he’s a good stayer because there’s a couple of good 3200m races in the spring.
“When he won on Oaks day at Flemington last November Danny’s description of him was ‘this is an elite staying prospect’ and it’s always stayed with me.
“He won over 1800 metres which was an unsuitable trip but he did that on guts then he injured his back a bit which put him out for a while but he’s shown today that he is an elite staying prospect.”
Boss gave Vow And Declare a peach of a ride midfield on the outside throughout in the Tattersall’s Cup, saving the horse for his big finish when easily outstaying the field.
“He’s got a great set of lungs this horse. After the race I was blowing harder than him,” the winning hoop said.
“It’s hard to know what the ceiling is with these horses.
“Danny’s had a massive wrap on him and when they changed this race from 2200m to 3000m it gave him the opportunity to run in it instead of going to the paddock.
“He’s got plans to run him in the spring and it’s worked out well because if it was 2200m he wouldn’t have run today and we wouldn’t have found out if he can go 3000m.”
The latest futures Melbourne Cup 2019 betting odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Vow And Declare at $51.
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