Trainer Mark Riley has revealed that talented colt Of The Brave is likely to kick-off his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 15.
Of The Brave stamped himself as a horse to watch when he took out the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 11 and he proved that victory was no fluke when he held-off Pride Of Dubai to win the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 before he failed to fire in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28.
The Starspangledbanner colt was found with mucus in his airways at the conclusion of the Blue Diamond Stakes, but Riley told Racing.com that the rising three-year-old had relished his time in the spelling paddock and is in for a big 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“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 confident that Of The Brave will be capable of competing at the highest level of racing during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he has set the Debutant Stakes winner for a return to racing in the Vain Stakes.
Of The Brave is then likely to press on to the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on September 12 before he is given another opportunity at the highest level of racing in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on October 31.
“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, but 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.”
Riley has not had a runner in the Coolmore Stud Stakes since Just Juan finished third behind Quegent and Primacy when the race was known as the Ascot Vale Stakes, while he is chasing his first Group 1 victory since Mookta took out the 1994 edition of the Newmarket Handicap (1200m).