Vigor the forgotten horse: Winks

Victoria’s leading jockey James Winks said Vigor was the forgotten horse in Sunday’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Winks, who leads the statewide premiership with 22 winners, said Vigor’s performance on Sunday would answer questions about his prospects for the higher-profile spring races.

He added that stepping up to 2000m with a gap between the Makybe Diva and the Turnbull was a query, but he backed trainer Danny O'Brien's judgment.

"Danny's always had the impression that Vigor doesn't need much racing because he's quite a clean-winded horse," Winks said.

"Everyone has forgotten about him (Vigor) a bit because he hasn't raced for a month but the horse is good.

"His coat is not there yet but it's starting to come through so he will be spot-on whichever way he goes after Sunday."

Vigor finished fourth first-up in the Memsie Stakes and last start battled on gamely when third to Shocking and Heart of Dreams in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), which he won last year.

Vigor finished near last in the 2009 Turnbull, but jockey and trainer are not expecting a repeat this time around.

O'Brien warned Vigor was a little underdone for this year's Makybe Diva and after hitting the lead early in the straight, he peaked on his run before battling on for a solid third.

"He was exposed a bit early there, but that was four weeks ago and I think he will really appreciate getting back on top of the ground on Sunday," O'Brien said.

"This is a spring defining race for him and a lot of others."

O'Brien says Vigor has trimmed up since his last run and will be left with no excuses on Sunday.

"For a 2000m race, he couldn't be any better," he said.

"I guess half the field is in the same boat of having horses coming to their peak and it's a very competitive race, but we expect him to run very well."

Story by Herald Sun, to view Herald Sun Super Racing website click here

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno’s website click here

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