A week can be long time in racing. A little over a fortnight ago Team Feek were looking at the options for promising galloper I AM VINNIE, while 2yo FIRST DAWN was preparing for her first educational jump out at Mornington.
A week later and the pair are now preparing for a run at Flemington over the famous Melbourne Cup carnival.
I Am Vinnie will contest the $200,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final over 1600m on VRC Oaks Day after his slashing second at Ballarat in the Country Qualifying race a little over a week ago. Kerrin McEvoy has been booked to ride on Thursday with David and Coral Feek simply excited to be competing in the biggest week of racing on the calendar.
‘The Country Qualifying series is a great initiative by Racing Victoria and the VRC’. Said David Feek
‘We wouldn’t be there next week without these sort of races available to us. It’s a great thrill not just for the owners but also for the stable, to be on the big stage next week is a great result’.
‘He’s a progressive horse who probably put in a career best at Ballarat last week when he showed us he was just as effective on the turf as he is on the synthetic. The key to this horse is a firm track, he seems to relish that type of ground and hopefully we get a good surface next week at Flemington’.
‘Kerrin is a fantastic booking and if we can draw a nice barrier then we’ll be a good each way hope in a very even field’.
Acceptances for Thursday’s Oaks Day meeting will come out on Monday morning and the team will be hoping I am Vinnie draws a handy position from what can be a very tough start at the 1600m at Flemington.
‘We have to get through Tuesday first’. Said Feek in referring to 2yo First Dawn, who heads to Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day after two encouraging trials.
A little over two weeks ago David and Coral Feek were hopeful their Brazen Beau 2yo FIRST DAWN would show them something encouraging with the Autumn in mind, however after comfortably winning her first jump out at Mornington the Feek’s thought they might be on to something. After coming through that educational trial in great order David and Coral ventured to Sandown on Tuesday to test the waters against some of the better 2yo’s from Caulfield and Mornington. And the filly didn’t disappoint, crossing the line in front after a testing half mile trial along the back straight at Sandown.
‘She has been very encouraging in both her trials and the way she’s recovered both times suggests she’s ready to go tot the races. We have no expectations on Tuesday, it’s a great opportunity for us to take her away for some race experience’. Said Coral Feek after Tuesday’s trial.
‘She will be better in the autumn with more time to mature, however she is precocious enough to suggest she won’t be out of her depth at Flemington. I think we will have a nice filly in the Autumn and in to the spring as a 3yo, so whatever she does now as a spring 2yo is simply a bonus’.
‘She is a half to Group 1 winning 2yo RUUD AWAKENING and if we could get a result for her at some stage then she becomes a very valuable prospect as a broodmare after racing. Right now our focus is to bring her along gently as I think we’ll have plenty to look forward to over the next 18 months and hopefully on Tuesday we can be competitive down the straight’.
First Dawn will kick off Melbourne Cup Day bright and early at 1050am in Race 1 with Ben Thompson to ride from the nice draw in barrier 6.
It’s not all about Melbourne Cup week at Flemington though for Feek Racing.
On Derby Day the team will head east to Traralgon as handy mare Miss Entice looks to break through this prep in Race 6 at 451pm in the 0-58 over 1900m, with Aaron Mitchell to ride in what looks a very achievable assignment for the sister to former handy galloper Boom N Zoom.
‘We get to the 1900m for the first time with this mare and I think she is ready to show something this preparation. Her runs have been much better than they look on paper and this does look a winnable race for her’. Said David Feek.
Less than 24 hours later and the team will head across the road for Sunday’s big Mornington meeting. Staying mare Zoffany Rose is desperate to break through this time in after a number of luckless runs. The 5yo daughter of Zoffany returns to Benchmark 58 grade after contesting a much stronger race in Adelaide last start where she acquitted herself well finishing within 6L of the winner.
‘She deserves a win this time in and we were a touch unlucky here two starts ago in the grade, so hopefully we get our chance on Sunday and reward the mare and her owners’. Said Coral Feek
‘She holds her condition well and continues to put in at every run. She just needs everything to go her way and so far this preparation we haven’t had a great deal of luck. Hopefully that’ll change on Sunday’.
Feek Racing continues to build momentum as we head in to the back half of the Spring, so stay tuned as we head in to Melbourne Cup week with four runners across the state and a number preparing to trial later in November.