Savabeel scored a career-high victory in the 2004 Cox Plate and he turned back the years with rising stayer Savvy Nature (NZ) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Savvy Nature (3g Savabeel – Generous Nature by Carnegie) produced a sustained finish to win the G2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m) by three lengths from All Rigged Up (Econsul) and Pinstripe Lane (Pins).
The Sydney visitor had won the G3 Newcastle Spring Stakes and been placed behind Darley colt Complacent in the G2 Gloaming Stakes and G1 Spring Champion Stakes before arriving in Melbourne.
The convincing victory prompted bookmakers to install Savvy Nature an equal $4 favourite with Complacent for the G1 Victorian Derby (2500m) at Flemington next Saturday, November 2.
“He relaxed and then attacked the line,” O’Shea said. “This race has been a great guide to the Victoria Derby and hopefully it will be this year as well. He’s been competitive with Complacent in Sydney but will need to find at least another length to beat him next Saturday.”
Savvy Nature is raced in partnership by leading owner Max Whitby who also raced Savabeel. The gelding was a $200,000 buy from Lyndhurst Farm at the 2012 NZ Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.
Savabeel (Zabeel) sired Sangster to win the 2011 Victorian Derby. He stands at Waikato Stud for a $55,000 service fee.