By Nicholas Godfrey
Australia: Vow And Declare, who denied a host of European-trained horses in a thrilling Melbourne Cup on his most recent start, is set to begin his autumn campaign back at Flemington in the Australian Cup on March 7.
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Sydney’s premier weight-for-age contest at Randwick on Day 2 of The Championships (April 11), is the four-year-old’s primary target. Both races are 2,000-metre (1m2f) events, with the Queen Elizabeth worth A$4 million (£2.04m).
Partnered by big-race jockey Craig Williams, Vow And Declare came through a racecourse workout on Friday morning at Flemington with flying colours.
“He was super,” said trainer Danny O’Brien, speaking to AAP Racing. “We were really happy with him. He was nice and sharp and his recovery was excellent. His fitness levels are good and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do this year.
“I think the way he trialled this morning he would be about 99% that he’ll be going to the Australian Cup.”
Vow And Declare won Australia’s most famous race by a head over the subsequently demoted Master Of Reality. On his previous start, the Declaration Of War gelding was beaten only a length by Japan’s Mer De Glace when runner-up in the Caulfield Cup.
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