General Truce gave trainer Tony Vasil the best possible return to competition with victory in Saturday’s Jezabeel Handicap (1000m) at Flemington.
General Truce won his fifth race at Flemington in the Jezabeel Handicap. Photo: Darryl Sherer
Vasil walked away from training in March 2014 suffering from depression and General Truce was his first runner since.
Andrew Mallyon had General Truce ($31 – $18) in the front rank all the way and went clear 100m out to defeat Bullpit ($4) by 1 1/4-lengths with Alberto Magic ($10) a nose away third.
Vasil saw part-owner James O’Brien at the sales on the Gold Coast last week and was offered General Truce, whose trainer Ricky Maund is currently serving a six month suspension.
“He asked if I would be interested in training an old sprinter and I thought it would give me something to do,” Vasil said.
“I probably timed my run a bit late coming into the middle of winter, but it’s turned out to be a bit of a fairytale.”
Vasil said he is happy with a small return to training.
“I could click my fingers tomorrow and I have 30 horses if I wanted, but I don’t want it,” Vasil said.
“I just want to put my big toe in the water and fiddle around with a couple. I’m a bit rusty but I think I’ve still got it.”
General Truce has now won five races at Flemington and Vasil did not let the eight-year-old go around without support.
“I went down to Brighton for breakfast this morning. When I went into the TAB he was $81 fixed odds,” Vasil said.
“I was happy with how he felt underneath me last Saturday morning and again on Tuesday and I didn’t think he was an $81 chance.”