O'Brien aims Vigor at Emirates Stakes

The Danny O'Brien-trained Vigor, the Caulfield Cup third placegetter controversially left out of the Melbourne Cup, will be out to gain some consolation in Saturday's $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington.

Vigor failed to make the 24-horse Melbourne Cup line-up and the VRC committee decided against elevating it into the field at the expense of Kiwis Spin Around and Gallions Reach.

Danny Nikolic picks up the ride on Vigor, who has 55 kilograms in the Emirates. ''Hopefully this will make up for the disappointment of missing the Melbourne Cup for Vigor's connections,'' Nikolic said yesterday.

''He had been working in outstanding fashion last week so I'd expect him to run a great race on Saturday.

''I know he's back from the 2400 metres of the Caulfield Cup to the mile in the Emirates but all that means is he will run it out very strongly. He also loves Flemington so that's in his favour.''

Vigor nosed out Typhoon Tracy in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes earlier in the spring at Flemington over the same distance and O'Brien is confident of another strong performance from his O'Reilly gelding.

"The horse is in the best shape of this life and given his affinity with Flemington we are confident he will run well," O'Brien said.

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