Trainer David Vandyke has big plans for his smart import Archean who will progress onto the 2015 Grafton Cup next month before a possible spring campaign following his second win down under at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The four-year-old son of Arch, who had two European starts before joining Vandyke in Sydney, has raced in Australia since September last year and won his first race in the country at Canberra over 2000m back in October.
He returned to the winners’ stall yesterday for his first metropolitan triumph when beating home Bubbles ‘N’ Boats (2nd) and Ashkannd (3rd) in the More Than Ready @ Vinery-BM 70 Handicap (1900m) as a 10/1 shot with jockey Danny Beasley aboard at the mid-week Canterbury meet.
Taken by the win on the Heavy (8) track, Vandyke immediately named the $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on Thursday July 9 during Clarence River Jockey Club’s premier carnival as the next-up target for Archean.
Vandyke will use the horse’s run in the Grafton Cup over more metres as a guide to the possible spring carnival targets for the classy gelding who is improving with each run.
“I will throw him in the deep end, that way we’ll get a bit of a guide on where we should aim in the spring,” Vandyke said on Wednesday.
“It’s an ambitious plan but he’s done everything right and he deserves a trip up there.
“It’s taken him a little while to adapt but he’s certainly there now.”
Vandyke added Beasley would be given the chance to retain the ride on Archean should he want to stick with the galloper.
“He’s got an offer to ride Bonfire,” the Warwick Farm-based horseman said.
“We’ll see how that horse goes Saturday and he might ride for us if he wants. The offer is there.”
Another import, Bonfire is trained by Gai Waterhouse, the Manduro six-year-old last seen running a first-up fourth when beaten under three lengths by Sons Of John in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) on June 7.
He runs again this weekend in Saturday’s sole black-type race across the country – the $100,000 Listed ATC Winter Cup (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
Only seven stayers are accepted in this year’s Winter Cup field with Bonfire drawn well in gate two, Beasley in the saddle with the 59kg top weight.
Rival Sydney trainer Chris Waller prepared the first four over the line in the Winter Cup last year and is back with three chances this weekend: Ipswich Cup winner Danchai (55.5kg), Our Voodoo Prince (55kg) ridden by last year’s winning hoop Tye Angland and imported mare Gosh (54kg).
The rails-drawn Danchai ($2.40) and his jockey Hugh Bowman are current narrow favourites in the Winter Cup markets over Bonfire ($2.70), full odds available online now at Ladbrokes.com.au who are also matching the first deposits of new players dollar for dollar up to $500 with use of the code BETBONUS this season!