Article by Michael Manley from Herald Sun June 11, 2016
Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Mallyon and Tony Vasil
TONY Vasil made a triumphant return to training and landed a plunge with his first runner in 2½ years when General Truce (8g Brief Truce x General Resolve by General Nediym) took out the Jezabeel Handicap (1000m) at Flemington.
Vasil described making a winning return as “a bit of a fairytale”.
Only 20 minutes earlier, he had been taking great pride in seeing Under The Louvre — a horse he purchased and trained until he quit racing due to depression in March 2014 — winning the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane.
Shortly after, General Truce delivered a more immediate success for Vasil to savour.
“To come back as a winner with a longshot is pretty satisfying,” he said.
Vasil admitted that he had taken the $81 on offer Friday morning at the Brighton TAB after he had breakfast.
“I was more than happy with how he felt under me last Saturday and he felt even better last Tuesday.
“He didn’t feel to me like an $81 chance. I thought he’s right in the mix.”
General Truce’s official fluctuations were $31 into $18 on course.
The 12-time Group 1-winning trainer, who counts Elvstroem and Haradasun among his champions, only regained his licence two weeks ago.
Trainer Tony Vasil (right) with jockey Andrew Mallyon and owner Kevin O’Brien after General Truce won at Flemington. Picture: Getty Images
Vasil said coming back so early was not part of his plans.
“I was at the Gold Coast Yearling sales just poking about when I bumped into James O’Brien and he asked me … would you be interested in training my old sprinter?” he said.
“I was just planning to get a couple of young horses and dabble with them,” Vasil said.
Vasil said he could have a stable of 30 horses tomorrow if he wanted to but he didn’t want to go down that path.
“I’ve got no ambition to get together a big team. I could click my fingers and have 30 in work tomorrow but I don’t want to do that,” he said.
“I just want to put my big toe in the water. Maybe in six months times I might revisit things. I’ve been very fortunate over the years to have success at this point in life and I just want to enjoy it.”
General Truce ($18) defeated Bullpit ($4) by a length and a quarter with Alberto Magic ($10) a nose away third.
Race Replay: Flemington R8 11 June 16