Aug 30, 2016
Vibrant Rouge's victory at Caulfield on Saturday was both a relief and a thrill for the stable, the talented mare having been in such great form without managing a win since joining our team.
She had however ran three consecutive placings leading to her breakthrough, not always having the best of luck - running on gamely despite contesting slowly run races in which the on-pacers were better suited.
However up to 1400m at Caulfield, Vibrant Rouge did a great job, covering a bit of ground from a tricky gate but finding plenty - hitting the lead with 120m to go and racing clear to win by a soft 1 1/4 lengths.
"She didn't have a great run from barrier 13," said rider Beau Mertens, "but she was smooth in the running and got a good cart up. She hit the line really well."
Michael Kent was not unhappy to see Vibrant Rouge race a little wide as she was able to maintain her momentum. "She is a horse who lengthens rather than quickens," he said, "so that sort of run suits her."
"It is a real relief and a great thrill to see her win today. Every run for us has been great, she has been stiff not to win a couple of times."
It was a special win for Beau Mertens, his first metropolitan success for the stable.
"It is an unbelievable feeling," he enthused, "especially on a Group One day, I could not be happier."
An eight times winner of over $430,000 in stakes, Vibrant Rouge is a home-bred for Gaston Khougaz. The Gr.3 winner was retired to stud last year but failed to get into foal to Zoustar with whom she has a return date this spring.