It might be the depths of winter, but Danny O'Brien has his eyes firmly set on this year's features with two of his recuperating stars.

Speaking at Wednesday's Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour launch, O'Brien said he is hoping Vow And Declare and Young Werther can this year have an uninterrupted spring to give him his best chance at the first Tuesday in November, after saddling up Miami Bound to finish 12th in last year's Cup.

"He has rehabbed really well," O'Brien said of 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare, who is recovering from a tendon injury.

"Lee Everson has had him since October last year and he's been back with us at Barwon Heads for about six weeks.

"He has got a good fitness base and his legs look clean and sound.

"He's got time now over the winter to get himself ready for the start of the spring."

Vow And Declare last raced in mid-September, finishing 11th in the Naturalism Stakes.

O'Brien is also looking forward to the return of promising stayer Young Werther after he failed the Melbourne Cup CT scan last year.

"He spent the autumn out after he went through the scanning process last year and had a minor weakness in a sesamoid," O'Brien explained.

"So we've put a screw in that Chris Whitten at Werribee did that for us and he's been very happy with the way it went.

"He's prepping over the winter to hopefully turn up for us in the spring."

Runner-up in the 2021 ATC Derby in the autumn, Young Werther returned to finish second in the Turnbull Stakes and eight in the Caulfield Cup.

Story by Ben Sporle for Racing.com

Pic by Racing Photos