Change of plans pays off for Vespertine

Pinpointing suitable races at this time of year is nothing new as far as a trainers task list, but Grahame Begg’s switching strategy came off with Vespertine in the Amanda Checken Handicap (Benchmark 70, 1100m) at Caulfield.

Towards the rear of the field on straightening, Vespertine ($5) with three-kilo claiming apprentice Logan Mcneil aboard flew home to win by a long-neck over Comica ($10) and Award Winner ($7).

“I was delighted,” Begg said from the Gold Coast.

“We knew it was an unsuitable race going into it.

“We had aspirations of running her up the straight again at Flemington last week it (weather) was just too hot.

“We aborted that plan and still had the fall-back option of yesterday over 1100 metres which probably wasn’t ideal for her but she was very well in at the weights and she was well-positioned in the race.

“It all came off very well.”

While Begg’s switch between courses and Saturdays came off, the win also continued apprentice Logan McNeil’s good weekends in town.

“It was a of bit of a no-brainer to get three-kilos off her back and he executed the plan really well,” Begg said.

The four-year-old mare’s record stands at a consistent three wins and four placings in 11 starts with a particular liking for Caulfield.

But despite richer options, Begg isn’t being swayed to jump in to stakes racing again with Vespertine too soon.

He hopes strategic planning comes off again on 5 February.

“There’s a fillies and mares race at Caulfield again over 1400 metres,” he said.

“She’s a track and distance winner, it’s a benchmark 78, we’ll claim again and she’ll get in under the limit.”

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