2016 Brisbane Cup Target for Maurus

David Vandyke will trial Maurus at Hawkesbury on Monday with an eye on a Brisbane Cup 2016 run this winter after the five-year-old failed to gain a run at Royal Randwick on All Aged Stakes Day.


Brisbane Cup 2016 hope Maurus trials at Hawkesbury on Monday after failing to gain a Randwick run on All Aged Stakes Day. Photo: Steve Hart.

Vandyke suffered a blow earlier in the week when the stable’s odds-on favourite to win the $500,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) on Saturday, Yankee Rose, failed to pass fit to run in the two-years-old feature.

“I’m a bit disappointed but this is the highs and lows of racing,” he told The Daily Telegraph, speaking about the forced Champagne Stakes scratching of the ATC Inglis’ Sires Stakes winning filly.

“There was an increase pulse in her foot and she was quite tender around her heel.

“In another 24 hours, the clinical signs might be good but there is obviously an underlying issue.

“So, really we would have been putting her at risk if we ran her and we are not prepared to do that. The horse must come first.

“She has not injured a tendon or a suspension, she has a hoof issue that will resolve itself.

“She is still only a two-year-old and we can look forward to her racing on next season. When all this settles down, we can reflect on what an unforgettable autumn we have had with this filly.”

A $10,000 bargain buy, All American filly Yankee Rose has already won over $1.5 million in career prize money thanks to a first-up Golden Slipper Stakes second and her Group 1 win at Randwick in the Sires’ on April 2.

“She has certainly exceeded our expectations this preparation,” Vandyke added.

“If someone had told me at the start of the autumn she would run second in the Golden Slipper and then win the Sires I would have said that would be a dream come true.”

Also missing from Saturday’s Randwick card for Vandyke is Medicean gelding Maurus who failed to gain a start as the third emergency in the $150,000 Group 3 Sharp Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m).

Before the official Sydney scratchings for Saturday were released, Vandyke said Plan B for Maurus would be a Hawkesbury trial on Monday before preparations stepped up for a trip to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

“If he doesn’t get a run then we will trial him on Monday at Hawkesbury,” Vandyke said.

“Then our plan is to take him to Queensland and set him for the Brisbane Cup.

“We also have Sir John Hawkwood and Astronomos being aimed at that race and it would be great if we got all three into the Cup field.”

The $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) runs over the mile and a half at the recently renovated Eagle Farm Racecourse on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 11.

A winner of four of his 14 career starts to date, Maurus was last seen running third to Libran in the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) on March 5.

A rising eight-year-old son of Sir Percy, stablemate Sir John Hawkwood meanwhile won the Group 3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) two back before a last start third in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m).

The other Brisbane Cup hope for Vandyke, New Approach stallion Astronomos hasn’t had a run this year with a seventh to Beyond Thankful back in September last year in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2300m) his last official run.

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