Trainer Mark Riley has been thrilled with the condition of talented sprinter Of The Brave in the lead-up to the 2015 Spring Carnival, and has revealed the rising three-year-old will be set on a course towards the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) which will likely include a stop in the 2015 Danehill Stakes (1200m).
Of The Brave stamped his claims as one to watch upon debuting to racing last October; winning the Listed Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) by close to two lengths before immediately returning to the paddock.
Having returned to racing this year for immediate success in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 14th, the Starspangledbanner colt was considered a leading chance for success in the featured Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) but failed to fire, finishing a disappointing 12th.
Revealing Of The Brave had been suffering from illness, discovered after the running of the Blue Diamond Stakes, Riley told Racing Victoria he is confident the colt will return a better horse in spring; citing his success over subsequent two-time Group 1 winner Pride Of Dubai.
“He pulled up crook,” Riley said.
“He pulled up with an inflammation of the airway – there was a bit of mucus there.
“We scoped him on the Wednesday and he was clear and the horse showed no signs of it.
“It’s just one of those things.
“He’s already got the score on the board, he beat the winner of the Blue Diamond the start before and I know the horse has come back really well.
“I’m really happy with him.”
Underlining a race like the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 15th as his possible first point of call, Riley revealed the colt may only have three spring starts, pending form.
“He’ll kick off in the Vain Stakes at this stage,” he said.
“His main aim for the spring is the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
“He might only run in the Vain, the Danehill and the Coolmore – we’ll see how he goes.
“He’s a lovely horse and he’s come back really well. He’s strengthened up and developed in his time off.”
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