Undoubtedly securing his most impressive result to date when finding the line in the clear of a classy field in the race’s 2014 edition, trainer Paul Beshara has confirmed five-year-old Richie’s Vibe will line up for a defence of the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1100m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Unable to make much of an impact over two autumn starts following his Australia Stakes triumph, Richie’s Vibe has not been seen at the races since placing seventh in the Group 3 TheShark.com.au Stakes (1100m) in what also figured as his solitary spring start on August 30th.
Pleased with the form displayed by the Danerich gelding since his return to work, Beshara said he is confident Richie’s Vibe will be capable of successfully defending his Australia Stakes crown first-up this weekend.
“He’s had a few gallops, his trackwork has been good. He’s not a horse you need to jump out or trial,” Beshara told TVN.
“He’s a horse that comes to hand very quickly. I’m happy with him.”
Securing five wins and a further two minor places over his 14 start career so far, Richie’s Vibe stamped his claims as a serious racing contender from an impressive debut preparation highlighted by two wins from just three appearances.
Undoubtedly finding career-best form over the spring and summer of 2013/14, Richie’s Vibe charged home to win a minor at his local Morphettville Racecourse before placing a close second to It Is Written in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) upon arriving in Melbourne.
Placing a credible fourth in the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes, the gelding out of Early Wakening was unlucky to be blocked for a run late when fifth in the City Jeep Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley but responded in the best way possible when claiming a maiden black type victory in the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1200m) in early November.
Having placed fourth in the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1400m) and second in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) leading into the Australia Stakes, Richie’s Vibe will have to find an extra gear if to overcome a field likely to include Group 1 winners Dissident, Moment Of Change and Smokin’ Joey this weekend.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2015 Australia Stakes is due to be completed and released on Wednesday morning.