The same horse with the same rider are back to defend their Australia Stakes titles but this time with a different trainer.
Richie’s Vibe won the 1200m Group Two race at Moonee Valley with Damien Oliver aboard last year when prepared by Tony Vasil.
On Saturday the gelding fronts up for Paul Beshara who last year was serving a six-month disqualification when the race was run.
Richie’s Vibe went into last year’s Australia Stakes a fit horse, coming off a narrow defeat in the Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
However this time Richie’s Vibe will be first-up off a 21-week break and without an official trial.
But Beshara said the gelding was in good order and will head to Melbourne from his Morphettville base on Thursday night.
He said the gelding injured a hamstring at his only start last campaign, when finishing seventh at Caulfield in August, requiring time in the paddock.
“Last start he got a check during the race and hurt himself,” Beshara said.
“He needed to have a couple of months off in the paddock but everything is good now.”
Beshara said Richie’s Vibe was around 99 per cent fit for Saturday’s race and will benefit from the run.
He said he had nothing planned after Saturday, other than returning home on Sunday, but said there were plenty of options available.
He did say that he planned to bypass Australia’s best sprinters with Richie’s Vide – including Lankan Rupee, Terravista and Chautauqua – unless his form said otherwise.
“We’ll see how he pulls up after Saturday, get him home, and see where we go to from there,” Beshara said.
“There’s a lot of suitable races around for him at this time of the year but we’ll just see how he comes out of this first-up run.”
Richie’s Vibe will face eight opponents in Saturday’s race including last year’s third placegetter It Is Written and is currently on the fourth line of betting at $6.50 behind the $2.20 favourite Dissident.