The promising Richie’s Vibe has been in the care of Tony Vasil for just over a fortnight but the leading trainer is already chasing his first win at Group level with the four-year-old in the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Richie’s Vibe, formerly prepared by suspended trainer Paul Beshara, joined Vasil’s stable after he failed to fire in the City Jeep Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 and made it one win from one start for his new trainer when he recorded a narrow victory over Sea Lord in the MSS Security Sprint (1200m) Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
The Danerich gelding was included in the nominations for both the Sandown Stakes and the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) but Vasil made the decision to include the gelding in the acceptances for the handicap event rather than step him up to weight-for-age company for the first time in his racing career.
“I have fond memories of Kevin but unfortunately it is a weight-for-age race and given this horse has only had eight race starts he would probably be greatly disadvantaged,” Vasil told AAP.
“If he had won he would be shooting himself in the foot because he would be penalised by getting a higher rating so it is far better going in the Sandown Stakes where he has the minimum weight of 56 kilos.”
Richie’s Vibe is currently on the third line of 2013 Sandown Stakes betting markets, at odds of $4.40, and the wet weather around Melbourne, as well as the fact his galloper will have Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver on his back, has Vasil very confident that Richie’s Vibe can extend his unbeaten record for his new stable.
“I’m really happy about this rain,” Vasil said.
“He is far more effective on soft ground than he is on firm ground and Damien is riding better than anyone in Australia.”
Richie’s Vibe started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an impressive three lengths win at Morphettville and finished an unlucky second behind It Is Written in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) and was beaten as a well-tried favourite in the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m).
Paul Beshara was forced to send the gelding to a new stable, after he was suspended for treating Group 1 winner Happy Trails on the morning of the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1400m), and he finished a disappointing fifth in his only race start for Byron Cozamanis.
Vasil is yet to make a decision about the future of Richie’s Vibe but said that sending him to the paddock before a crack at the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival was a possibility.