Richie's Vibe wins Australia Stakes
Mathew Toogood
22:28 AEST Fri Jan 24 2014

Damien Oliver has upset Tony Vasil with his decision not to ride Prince Harada when he returns but the jockey went a little way to mending the relationship with a Group Two win for the trainer aboard Richie's Vibe.

Vasil said he was still angry Oliver had decided to ride the Gai Waterhouse-trained Bull Point over Prince Harada for the colt's return in the Manfred Stakes on Saturday week.

But the trainer admitted Oliver made the difference in Friday night's Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley when he claimed odds-on favourite Moment Of Change late.

"It was D. Oliver magic," Vasil said, adding he was still "fuming" over the jockey's Prince Harada decision.

Vasil vetoed a trip to Tasmania on Wednesday night with Richie's Vibe because of the cost involved and reaped the reward when the up-and-coming sprinter powered home late to grab odds-on favourite Moment Of Change in the final few strides.

Moment Of Change ($1.90) was trapped deep from his outside barrier and despite hitting the front in the straight, was vulnerable and Oliver drove Richie's Vibe ($4.80) past him to win by a long head.

It Is Written ($15) was three-quarters of a length away third.

After deciding not to take Richie's Vibe to Tasmania, Vasil studied the Australia Stakes field and thought it was a winnable option.

"When the weights came out it appeared to be a pretty soft Group Two," Vasil said.

"Pre-race number one (Moment Of Change) was the horse with the credentials but it wasn't surprising to see it get parked out wide with the way the race was going to be run.

Oliver said he thought about coming to the outside in the straight but felt he would have lost momentum.

"I just sort of waited and went back in and was able to follow the favourite through and knock him over late," Oliver said.

The win was both Oliver and Vasil's third Australia Stakes success.

Oliver won on Schillaci in 1993 and El Segundo in 2007 while Vasil prepared Super Elegant to win in 2005 and Lucky Secret in 2009.

Vasil said he had been planning to head to next month's Hareeba Stakes at Mornington with Richie's Vibe but that would depend on the weight he received.

He said the 1100m of the Group One Oakleigh Plate might be a touch short but he would give it some thought.

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