Australia’s chances of breeding a Melbourne Cup winner are seemingly getting slimmer each year with the ever-growing influx of European imports.

However, Danny O’Brien is one trainer that remains a true believer.

That main reason behind that belief gets its first real test in the first week of October when possibly the best-credentialled Australian-bred stayer Vow And Declare joins in on the spring action by stepping out first-up in Saturday’s $500,000 G1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

Vow And Declare was one of 19 nominations taken on Monday for the Turnbull and while O’Brien is not expecting the seemingly improbable result of a first-up Group 1 win, he is not discounting the seemingly impossible scenario where an Australian-bred horse can actually win the country’s most famous horse race.

"He’s very talented at 2400 metres and beyond and it is very rare that you’d get that sort of horse with an Australian pedigree," O’Brien said on Monday.

"He’s got great heart and lungs and he’ll run two miles. He’s a very promising prospect for races of 2400-metres and beyond."

Vow And Declare has not started this season but carries over plenty of fitness from a winter campaign that saw him run a luckless second in the Queensland Derby behind Mr Quickie before a 3.25-length blitzing of his rivals in the G3 Tatt’s Cup (3000m) at Eagle Farm in the final week of June.

O’Brien said that as the horse raced deep into his three-year-old season, he reckoned he would be ready to race by Turnbull Stakes day and that is the way it has turned out.

"He hasn’t been out of work coming through Queensland and he wasn’t going to be suited until he got to 2000 metres and beyond so the Turnbull was always a race we were keen to run him in first or second up and as it turns out, he goes in first up," O'Brien said.

"He was very unlucky in the Queensland Derby - he ran a huge race - and he was very good when we stepped him to 3000 metres in the Tatt's Cup.

"He’s matured a bit more since and he’s a very talented stayer."

O’Brien could send Vow And Declare through a Caulfield Cup where the four-year-old is weighted at 52.5kg and is well placed to gain a start as he is currently 39th in order with a number of those above him unlikely to run.

Vow And Declare is well placed to grab a Melbourne Cup berth also as he sits at 45th in order for a Melbourne Cup start with 52kg.

Damien Oliver will ride Vow And Declare in Saturday's Turnbull Stakes.

Story by Andrew Eddy for Racing.com

Pic by Racing Photos