Veight returns a winner in Group 2 Australia Stakes

Damian Lane returns to the mounting yard on Veight after winning the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley. (Photo by Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Damien Lane and team McEvoy have combined with Veight (+115) to take out the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday afternoon.

The race mapped out perfectly in the end for the son of Grunt, as Lane was able to sit just in behind a hectic tempo throughout the 1200m contest.

Lane landed into the one-one position from gate three, allowing the three-year-old colt to stride comfortably as Snapper (+4000) and Recommendation (+240) set out to run their respective rivals into the turf.

A mid-race move, courtesy of South Australian raider Struck By (+2000) put even more tempo into what was already a hotly contested speed battle up front, setting up perfectly for the eventual winner and runner-up, Southport Tycoon (+380), to be doing their best work late.

Recommendation skipped clear at the top of the straight and looked to be travelling well with 200m to travel; however, the early going seemingly left the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained galloper fading in the concluding stages.

It left Veight and Southport Tycoon charging over the top late, with the former able to keep his first-up winning record ticking over to three starts for as many wins.

2024 Group 2 Australia Stakes Replay – Veight

Co-trainer Calvin McEvoy was on course to discuss the victory of his talented colt and gave every impression Veight will improve with the run.

“That was bloody exciting,” said McEvoy.

“He’s a very nice colt and this was the plan to kick him off here, he never actually went out of work, he went up to Forman Park and his work had been super, but we’d really noticed him switch on the last four or five days.

“He had to chase there but he really knuckled down to the job which is what you want to see these colts do and he’s proved himself against the older horses now too and let’s hope he can do it again next start.

“Plans going to be going to the Orr (Stakes) and Futurity (Stakes), we’re going to keep the door open for the Australian Guineas, but he’s pretty explosive over these 1400m trips, so it’s very exciting.”

Damien Lane spoke post-race and gave a terrific account of his mount in the aftermath of his Group 2 success.

“He broke really well, but beaten for a touch of speed early,” said Lane.

“I was probably two lengths further off Recommendation than was ideal, I would’ve loved to been on his back but it just didn’t work out that way.

“He gave a good kick Recommendation and I had to chase him a long way out, and as I started to build momentum, I felt Southport Tycoon and I thought I might’ve brought myself undone chasing that leader, but to his credit he’s so tough, he digs in when it counts, and it was a really good win.

Veight is currently on the third line of betting at +700 for the Group 1 C F Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 10.

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