‘Vermeer’ Primed For Caulfield Cup

By Daithi Harvey

This week could be a very significant one in the training career of Aidan O’Brien as he is within one Group 1 winner of equaling the world record of 25 wins in a year set by the late Bobby Frankel. Saturday could see the Ballydoyle trainer match that feat as he points last Saturday’s G1 Ladbrokes S. runner up Johannes Vermeer (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at the G1 BMW Caulfield Cup. The 4-year-old came with a storming late run to get within a head of the winner Gailo Chop (Fr) (Deportivo {GB}) last weekend and TJ Comerford, who is overseeing the preparation of the Ballydoyle runners in Australia, reports the colt to have come out of the race in great shape. “Johannes Vermeer is going to run this weekend again, because he is very well and in fairness, the jockey never knocked him about, he came out of the race so well, it was actually like a piece of work for him,” Comerford told Racing.com.

Having won the G1 Criterium International in France as a juvenile Johannes Vermeer only made one start in 2016 but has come back well after a period on the sidelines, showing he retained his ability with a Group 3 win at The Curragh in July. His classy effort last Saturday on his first Southern Hemisphere start was no surprise to Comerford who added, “He ran very well, we thought as much, he was absolutely flying since he got here, I think since he got here his work has come on again. I don’t think we need to do a whole lot with him now, but we will think about going on the grass on Wednesday, just putting him back to his normal routine. He came back, ate up at night and that is where we are now, I’m 100 per cent happy with him.”

Should Johannes Vermeer win on Saturday it could set the scene for O’Brien to break the record at British Champions Day at Ascot, also on Saturday.


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