Veight returns after winning the Australia Stakes with Damian Lane. (Image: Racing Photos)

Veight returns after winning the Australia Stakes with Damian Lane. (Image: Racing Photos)

G1 options for Veight

Calvin McEvoy says Veight could realistically tackle either the Australian Guineas or The Newmarket Handicap this campaign, after his almighty first-up win in the Group 2 Australia Stakes on Saturday.

The son of Grunt ($2.20) put in a herculean effort at The Valley, chasing down the hard-fit Recommendation ($3) to snatch the lead in the shadows of the post, while simultaneously holding off the flying Southport Tycoon ($5.50).

Calvin, who trains in partnership with his father Tony, said the win gives the preparation a perfect starting point, leaving several different, but enticing, options in play.

“Geez, that was bloody exciting, he’s a very nice colt. This was the plan, to kick him off here.” he said.

“The plan is to go into the Orr, then The Futurity. We’re going to keep the door open to the Australian Guineas, but he’s pretty explosive at these 1200-1400m trips.

“When we targeted the Coolmore last prep, it was off the back of a Guineas preparation, it wasn’t ideal. We did the best to freshen him up and he ran gallantly.

“But if we tried to train him that way (towards The Newmarket) there’s no reason why he couldn’t be a very good sprinter.”

A recent jumpout at Burrumbeet was followed by an excursion to The Valley in the lead up to Saturday’s assignment, and McEvoy believed they were both big parts of the horse’s breathtaking fresh performance.

With his first open-age victory ticked off, the team will be looking for consistency as Veight steps up to G1 level once again this autumn.

“Damian wasn’t that impressed making the journey there (to Burrumbeet), it was raining and hailing,” he joked. “But he was very good.”

“I think probably more important was the trip here (The Valley) on Tuesday morning. Once he got home from that he had his chest puffed out, and we knew he was on … 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.

“He’s proved himself against the older horses now, and let’s hope he can do it again next start.”