iskander

Versatility the key to Makybe repeat


Danny-OBrienDanny O’Brien is buoyant about the prospects of Vigor making it back-to-back Makybe Diva Stakes wins even though the Caulfield Cup placegetter won’t be as fit as he was 12 months ago.

The O’Reilly six-year-old goes into the Group Two 1600m feature at Flemington on Saturday second-up, as he did last year when he scored by a nose from Typhoon Tracy on a good track.

“He’s in great shape,” O’Brien said.

“This time last year we were obviously all eggs in one basket. He had to win a race like that to get into the Caulfield Cup and Typhoon Tracy will end up being horse-of-the-year so it’s been a pretty good form race.

“He’s a couple of weeks behind where he was last year. I’m not saying he still won’t be able to win.

“There’s no Typhoon Tracy there tomorrow but we’ve got the luxury of knowing he gets runs this year and we’ll hopefully have him peaking on Caulfield Cup day.”

“He’s been very well looked after since the spring of last year. He’s only had the two runs (since) and he has a big spring if front of him.”

The Flemington track was rated in the dead range on Friday but heavy rain is forecast for Saturday.

O’Brien is not concerned about the prospect of heavy going.

“He’s won here (at Flemington) on a heavy track. He’s just a very adaptable horse, wet, dry, and he’s won from 1500 metres to 2500 metres. I’m sure he’ll be right around the mark.”

Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller will saddle up race favourite Danleigh ($3.60).

A three-time Group One winner, Danleigh has been fitted by two solid lead-up runs last month, the latest a third behind stablemates Metal Bender and Triple Honour in the Warwick Stakes (1400m).

“It’s taken a while to get his fitness up but the trip down there might help tighten him up because he’s been hanging on to that last 10 kilos a bit long,” Waller said.

“He’s probably got to get on the right leg and it’s still going to be a hard race but it is slightly easier than last start if that is fair to say.

“He should be getting near his peak now.”

Waller said a rain-affected track wouldn’t worry Danleigh.