Gun three-year-old stayer Vow And Declare was far too good for his older rivals at Eagle Farm on Tiara Day beating the veteran Big Duke by three lengths in Brisbane’s Group 3 $200,000 Lazy Yak Tattersall’s Cup (3000m).
The punters were all about the Danny O’Brien-trained Declaration Of War gelding who caught the eye at the track on Stradbroke Day when runner-up at a roughie’s price behind Mr Quickie in the Group 1 $600,000 Queensland Derby (2400m).
He couldn’t be had for anywhere his double-figure quote that day and jumped the firm $3.10 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au in the Tattersall’s Cup.
Stepping up to the 3000m for the first time, Vow And Declare showed he could easily handle the distance and likely further with Glen Boss aboard for the youngster’s barnstorming victory.
Boss had Vow And Declare settled wide throughout about sixth in the running as the Matt Cumani-trained Kiwi visitor Etah James led the field around.
About 1200m out in-form Sunshine Coast-trained mare Travistee went up to challenge Etah James for the lead and the two front-runners put a gap of about 10 lengths on the next in the field, Ipswich Cup runner-up Sampson.
Vow And Declare maintained his outside run and began to close the gap on the straight.
Coming right down the outside after coming around the home turn the widest of the field, the Kris Lees-trained top-weight and former Sydney Cup placegetter Big Duke looked to be full of running having tracked third last throughout.
Giving the weight away however he was no match for Vow And Declare who drew well clear of the seven-year-old and posted his first victory since November’s Melbourne Cup Carnival last spring.
In third rounding out the Tattersall’s Cup trifecta was the Grahame Begg-trained mare Our Libretto, improving on her lead-up fifth in the Group 2 $400,000 Brisbane Cup (2400m) with her nice inside run.
Vow And Declare looks the perfect candidate to race on this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival and stretch out over the two miles back at Eagle Farm on July 20 in the Listed $200,000 Queensland Cup (3200m).
The possibility of targeting the world’s richest handicap race – the iconic Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington – is also open to the connections of Vow And Declare.
“If we had the run of the winner we probably would have won the Derby, but we wouldn’t have been here for this race,” part-owner Geoff Corrigan told Racing Queensland after the win.
“It worked out ideally because we needed to see if he was a good stayer because I know Danny [O’Brien] has his eye on a certain 3200 metre race in the spring.”
Vow And Declare is a half-brother to the O’Brien-trained Star Witness gelding, stakes winner Lycurgus, and even before the Tattersall’s Cup success, the trainer rated him a better horse.
“I think he’s a better horse,” he told Racing Victoria on Friday. “He’s more dour and more talented too.”
Winning hoop Boss was full of post-race praise for Vow And Declare who he believes can develop into a genuine Group 1 stayer.
“He’s got a great set of lungs this horse. After the race I was blowing harder than him,” Boss said.
“It’s hard to know what the ceiling is with these horses.
“Danny’s had a massive wrap on him and when they changed this race from 2200m to 3000m it gave him the opportunity to run in it instead of going to the paddock.
“He’s got plans to run him in the spring and it’s worked out well because if it was 2200m he wouldn’t have run today and we wouldn’t have found out if he can go 3000m.”
The latest all-in 2019 Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au list Vow And Declare at $51.