Multiple Group One performer Young Werther notched the second victory of his career when prevailing in a close finish at Flemington on Saturday over 2000m for trainer Danny O’Brien under a well-timed Billy Egan ride as he claimed runner-up Milford on the line.
The son of Tavistock won on debut over 1500m at Geelong in September 2020, but despite a slew of honest performances had failed to weigh-in first until start 23.
Group One placed in both the VRC Derby (2500m) and Australian Derby (2400m), Young Werther has also been placed in the past two editions of the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and has performed well in all of his Flemington starts over 2000m.
A recent Queensland campaign seemed to agree with Young Werther, who ran well when fourth in the Gr.3 Lord Mayors Cup (1800m) and third behind Luncies in the Gr.3 Tatt’s Cup (2400m).
“It is great for the owners. They have been very patient with this horse. He has been in and around the mark in some really big races and he has promised us the world but has finally delivered today,” stable representative Jack Howard said.
“He really enjoyed his time in Queensland. He was the best behaved horse and thought he was the King of the Castle up there.
“When he hoped off the truck when he got back he was jumping out of his skin and we just thought we’d give him a few quiet days and see how he was going.
“He worked here at Flemington on Tuesday and couldn’t have worked any better but we were always a bit cautious given his winning strike-rate.
“We left the instructions up to Billy here today and he might be the lucky charm.”
The O’Brien stable have the luxury of multiple venues which assist in keeping the older middle distance horses fresh and happy.
A five-year-old, Young Werther has now won two of his 23 starts and placed on a further eight occasions, banking more than A$1.3 million in prizemoney.
“We will just get him back home, keep him ticking over and obviously we have got Barwon Heads where we can take him down and give him a bit of quiet time at the beach,” Howard said.
“We will leave it up to Dan as to where he goes next but we have got the second win now so the challenge is to find the third and hopefully not let it take as long.”
Young Werther was purchased out of Cambridge Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft by O’Brien, in partnership with Aquis Farm, for $140,000.
Out of the winning Fastnet Rock mare Romantic Time, Young Werther is a half-brother to stakes-placed Romantic Lady and three-time winner Villaden.