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Bright future tipped for young stayer

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Danny O’Brien produced a carnival winner on Oaks day and the Flemington trainer might be back with him in the future as a genuine Cup day contender.

The lightly-tried Vow And Declare (Declaration Of War {USA}) trumped his age group rivals in the Listed TCL TV S., over 1800 metres, a distance well short of his optimum.

“He’s an elite staying prospect. He won his first race over 2300 metres at his third start and that suggests he can get out to two miles one day,” O’Brien said.

Dreams of the G1 Melbourne Cup will be put to one side for the time being, with Vow And Declare looking to have the potential to be a major player in the autumn.

Second Derby chance

He failed to get off the ballot for the G1 VRC Derby and the G1 Australian Derby in the autumn might be a fine fit for the chestnut.

“I’m thrilled to win a race during Cup week,” O’Brien said. “He’s a very promising young horse and only his fifth start. It’s good for him to have a look this year and hopefully back for bigger races next year.

“When he missed the run in Derby we ran him in the consolation 3-year-old race and he was aided by a really hot tempo.”

Danny O'Brien with jockey, Damien Oliver

Vow And Declare was ridden by Damien Oliver, who was suitably impressed by the horse’s staying potential.

“I wanted to hold a position early, but they went pretty quickly so I let him be where he wanted to be.” – Damien Oliver.

“I wanted to hold a position early, but they went pretty quickly so I let him be where he wanted to be,” he said.

“I was able to get him out and build momentum and he just kept coming.”

Vow And Declare’s undeniable finish saw him topple Junipal (Reset) with the runner-up’s stablemate Tavidance (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) third ahead of Waka (Domesday).

Vow And Declare returning to scale after his win in the Listed TCL TV Stakes

Veteran to the fore

Meanwhile, at the other end of the age scale Thermal Current (Exceed And Excel) rolled back the years to upset his younger opposition in the Listed Absolut S., on Thursday.

The 8-year-old sprinter roared home down the outside fence to win for the eighth time and break a 21-month losing sequence.

Trainer Darren Weir has never lost faith in the gelding and was quick to credit the ride of Craig Williams in getting the best out of the specialist short-course performer.

“That was some ride and he ever move he made was right,” he said. “He’s been racing really well without a lot of luck.

“He’s got to be ridden quietly and obviously needs things to go his way. He doesn’t give up.” – Darren Weir.

“He’s got to be ridden quietly and obviously needs things to go his way. He doesn’t give up.”

Thermal Current lethal finishing burst relegated Kaepernick (Fastnet Rock) to second after he had looked the winner 100 metres off the post.

Thermal Current and Craig Williams returning to scale after his win in the Listed Absolut Stakes

“He’s a really happy horse and I didn’t press the button until extremely late and he responded,” Williams said.

Kaepernick (Fastnet Rock) had looked the winner 100 metres off the pace, only for Thermal Current to power on by.

“I thought he was going to be home,” trainer John O’Shea said. “He’s run gamely and we’ll freshen him up now, he likes his races spaced.”