Group-performed stayer back in business

Group-performed stayer back in business8 Jun 2024

Virtuous Circle made a long overdue return to the winners’ circle when he gained a confidence-boosting victory at Flemington.

The four-year-old son of Almanzor gave all his rivals a start and a beating over 2000 metres to post his first success for 21 months.

However, he has performed well in strong company in between times with multiple placings at Group 2 level and finished runner-up in the G1 Australian Derby.

“I think there’s been a bit of unjustified criticism, he’s been running really well,” trainer Liam Howley said.

“Gelding had the right effect on him, we’ve never lost faith so it’s a great result.”

Virtuous Circle dropped to the tail of the field before rider Ethan Brown urged him forward near the turn and he produced a sustained finish over the top of his opposition.

“It was a peach of a ride and the willingness from the horse is back,” Howley said.

“It was all about getting him to win again and getting his confidence up.”

Out of the stakes placed Stryker mare She Is Stryking, Virtuous Circle was a A$360,000 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale purchase.

We are involved in the ownership group of his younger brother El Poder Del Sol, who was given a break following his maiden success at Geelong in April.