Declaration Of War's Vow And Declare on a Melbourne Cup Mission

Mark Smith - Saturday June 22

If Danny O'Brien was using Saturday's $200,000 Group III Tattersall's Cup (3000m) as a guide to the chances of Vow And Declare in the Melbourne Cup, then the three-year-old son of Declaration Of War (USA) passed with flying colours.

Given a patient ride by Glen Boss, Vow And Declare stormed home to defeat the top-weight Big Duke (IRE) (Raven's Pass) by a widening three and a quarter lengths with Our Libretto (O'Reilly) one and a quarter lengths back in third. (image Racing Queensland)

Last spring Vow And Declare was balloted out of the Victoria Derby before gaining some consolation when winning the Listed TCL TV Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Oaks Day.

He finished sixth in a competitive Group III Grand Prix Stakes at Eagle Farm on May 25 before a luckless second to Mr Quickie in the Group 1 Queensland Derby and failed to get the decision reversed in the steward's room.

"He (Danny O'Brien) has a massive opinion of him. He was dirty he got beaten in the Derby when things didn't go right, but it's worked out alright because he wouldn't have run today," Boss said.

"I think he's got plans for him in the Spring and I can see why, but it's always hard to judge where these horses are at because that was very soft."

Part-owner Geoff Corrigan confirmed the stable has one eye on the Melbourne Cup.

"It's a great result for all the team, we couldn't be happier after his bad luck in the Derby," Corrigan said.

"If we had the run of the winner we probably would have won the Derby, but then we wouldn't have been here for this race.

"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.

"When we won the TCL Stakes on Oaks Day, Danny said this horse is an elite staying prospect, he did it on pure guts over 1800 that day, but he's answered the question if he can handle the trip."

Passed in at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale when offered by Kitchwin Hills and retained to race in a partnership by his breeder, Vow and Declare (pictured as a yearling) advances his record to 3 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds from 10 starts with earnings of $350,190.

A half-brother to the Listed MRC Galilee Series Final winner Lycurgus, Vow And Declare is the second stakes-winner from the first three foals of theTesta Rossa mare Geblitz, a winner herself in Sydney and Brisbane, who comes from the family of Group I winners Hauraki and Kidnapped.

Geblitz has a weanling filly by Star Witness and was covered last year by Invincible Spirit's dual Group 1 winning son Shalaa (IRE).

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