The now Sunshine Coast-based former Sydney horseman David Vandyke hopes he can keep his Group 1 winning filly Yankee Rose’s foot issues at bay this spring as she prepares for four Group 1 targets starting with the 2016 Golden Rose.
A winner of over $1.5 million in prize money over her short four start career to date, already the smart daughter of All American is a three-time winner and elite level champ as a two-year-old.
Yankee Rose won her opening two runs at Rosehill last spring before coming back in the autumn and being thrown into the deep end taking on the top juveniles of the seasons in the world’s richest two-years-old race.
She more than handled her own in the March contest when finishing second only to the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Magic Millions 2YO Classic champ Capitalist in the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) as a $21 roughie.
No bookie was offering those kind of odds on Yankee Rose next start as she went out as the $3 favourite for Randwick’s Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 2 during ‘The Championships’.
Having been set for the 1400m clash she blitzed it with a 2.5 length victory over Telperion, but had her campaign cut short and a trip to Brisbane for a shot at the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) due to a foot abscess.
Vandyke has been diligent in his treatment of the abscess, which he described as “very frustrating”, but was happy with Yankee Rose’s work since she returned to his new Sunshine Coast base in Queensland last week.
“We’re just struggling with a foot abscess, which is obviously very frustrating because we had so many problems last preparation with her feet,” Vandyke told Racenet, saying the issues had resurfaced this week.
“She’s just a horse that has thin walls, thin soles and wet weather hasn’t helped things.
“It’s an abscess in her toe which has made her quite lame and unable to work but she should come right in the next couple of days. Her previous abscess was in her heel.”
If any horseman can deal with a horse’s feet issues adequately it is Vandyke who said his explosive filly had been doing lots of work in the water to help counteract track work loss.
“Swimming for her is a great substitute for track work for a couple of reasons. Firstly she doesn’t hold condition so it’s not like I’ve got to get any weight off her – she’s in the same shape now as she probably will be when she races,” he said.
“Secondly she’s an extremely good swimmer, and a fast one. She puts in a lot of effort which helps her fitness levels. It enables me to swim her knowing that we’re making serious inroads as far as fitness goes.
“She can spend half the week in the pool and still get to the races and I think we learnt a lot about her last preparation, realising how little work she really needs to be able to compete.”
Vandyke has the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 10 pencilled in for Yankee Rose first-up where she’ll be out to become the first filly to take out the classic since Forensics (2008).
From there she’ll go to Royal Randwick on October 1 taking on a field of fellow fillies in the $500,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) on Epsom Handicap Day before heading to Melbourne.
Yet to race in Victoria, her Melbourne debut will be in the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22, a race she is currently paying $31 to win in futures markets open at Ladbrokes.com.au and led by defending champion Winx.
Her campaign will then come to a close during the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November at Flemington Racecourse when Vanydke plans to step her right up in distance for a shot at the $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) less than a fortnight after the Cox Plate.
“That’s the direction we’re headed. She couldn’t have found the line any better than what she has in her four career starts. Her closing sectionals have been outstanding. Everything points to her getting a mile and further,” Vandyke said.
“I think the experience I’ve had with European-bred horses like Sir John Hawkwood and Maurus, that need very little work to run over ground, helps me realise what I need to do, or what I don’t need to do to get this filly to a Cox Plate and Oaks.”
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