Five months later, after a string of unplaced efforts at Flemington and Caulfield, he went north again and gave Randwick punters a nasty shock when he scored at $51, Noonan again taking the ride.
Bookies kept him safer on Saturday, but he had put the writing on the wall at Ballarat on Cup Day when he ran on to be third in a competitive handicap, once again starting at the long price of $41.
David Feek sees the humorous side of things but stresses that there is no funny business going on – explaining that I Am Vinnie simply seems to enjoy the interstate trip and racing at Randwick.
“We think it is all about placing the horse in the right race and he seems to suit these 1400-metre handicaps in Sydney and he likes Randwick,” he said.
“I think it is the best track in the country, horses can go a good gallop there and let down and finish off their races. He has no soundness issues and is as happy going the Sydney way as the Melbourne direction.”
The Feeks have around 20 horses in work at their boutique Mornington operation. Coral still rides and their two daughters are also involved in the operation.
“We also do some pre-training for Mick Price and Michael Kent jnr. We don’t have loads of horses but we try to make sure we run them in the right races so they at least get a chance, not just to be seen,” David Feek said.
“The reality is that most horses don’t win that many races, so you have to try to stack the odds in your favour. But it is why we like owners to come to the stables and get really involved – it gives them a positive experience, something to balance against those times when they go racing and we don’t get the result we might want.”
The Feeks bought I Am Vinnie as a yearling on behalf of one of the horse’s main owners, Louise Mancinelli, who was previously a part-owner of Newmarket Handicap-winning, top-class sprinter Brazen Beau.
Brazen Beau was by I Am Invincible and she wanted another galloper by the same stallion, Feek said.
“She has been a great supporter of our stable and it is great to see Vinnie doing her proud. All being well, he will now head back to Sydney for a benchmark 88 at Randwick on January 9,” he said.
Bookies and punters, you have been warned.
Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing