Vigor Winner Shares in Group 3 Glory

Vigor Winner claiming a dead heat in the G3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes at Te Rapa. Photo Cred: Trish Dunell
Vigor Winner claiming a dead heat in the G3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes at Te Rapa. Photo Cred: Trish Dunell

Ready to Run recruit Vigor Winner (Declaration of War) produced a brave performance to share the spoils in Saturday’s $70,000 Group 3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa, which ended in a dead heat.

Bought for $50,000 at the 2017 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka, Vigor Winner began his career with dominant victories at Hastings and New Plymouth in January and February. In his only other start, he was beaten by a half-head when second in last month’s Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1400m).

His obvious quality was put to the test on Saturday, jumping from an awkward draw against a field stacked with talent and speed.

Jockey Donovan Mansour took him back to fourth-last, then began to improve his position as the field swung out of the back straight.

He surged forward to be in the top six rounding the home turn, then sustained his big run all the way down the straight.

Speedy Meady (NZ) (Swiss Ace) burst through on his inside in the last 150 metres, but Vigor Winner rose to the challenge and the pair crossed the finish line locked together in a dead heat.

“We were concerned about the draw today,” Vigor Winner’s trainer Lauren Brennan admitted. “But he had a wide draw when he won at Taranaki as well. He has the ability, and a good horse always seems to find a way.

“He’s just got so much raw, natural ability. We’ll probably head to Queensland now for something like the Fred Best (Group 3, 1350m, May 25) and possibly the Queensland Guineas (Group 2, 1600m, June 8).

Raced by Hong Kong owner Johnny Tsang, Vigor Winner has had four starts for three wins, a second placing and $99,125 – almost double his purchase price.

Vigor Winner was bred by Bob Emery and is out of the Exceed and Excel mare Savont, a half-sister to this season’s stakes-placed New Zealand three-year-old Swords Drawn (Camelot).

Meanwhile, Saturday’s joint winner Speedy Meady is owned by his breeder Russell Mead. His dam, Lucy in Disguise (NZ) (Elusive City), was a $3,500 weanling purchase at Karaka in 2008.

Vendor Regal Farm
Purchaser Golden River Investments (Hong Kong)
Breeding Declaration of War – Savont
Sale Lot 334, 2017 Ready to Run Sale, $50,000
Bred by R A Emery

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