David Vandyke’s Group 1 winning youngster Yankee Rose will head towards the 2016 Cox Plate this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival looking to make history as the first three-year-old filly to take out the weight-for-age classic in 40 years.
During her two-year-old season in Sydney the smart daughter of All American won three of her four career starts, most notably backing up from a Golden Slipper Stakes second first-up to Capitalist to win the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in early April.
Vandyke, who has since made a move to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, always had the filly on track for the Sires’ Produce as a two-year-old and she rewarded her trainer with a big two and a half-length victory in the classic during ‘The Championships’.
She was sent for a spell after her Group 1 triumph, Vandyke making the decision not to press on to the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) subsequently won in a runaway by Prized Icon.
Now the gun juvenile is preparing to make her three-year-old debut in the spring and Vandyke is targeting the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Saturday October 22.
“She’s thriving at the moment and she actually does better in work than she does in the paddock,” Vandyke told RSN this week.
“I’m really happy with the way she’s come on over the last couple of weeks.”
She will get into Australasia’s weight-for-age championship carrying just 47.5kg and the only three-year-old filly in Cox Plate history to win is Surround back in 1976.
Yankee Rose then is looking to break a 40-year drought and Vandyke knows he needs a light-weight but reliable hoop to get the job done should his filly make the Cox Plate field.
“I’d like to get her to the Cox Plate but I don’t want a jockey who is wasting to ride her,” Vandyke told AAP in June.
“So perhaps if I give them plenty of time, someone might think about it and start getting ready now.”
In 2008 that year’s Flight Stakes winning filly Samantha Miss lined-up in the Cox Plate with Glen Boss wasting to get down to the weight to ride the eventual third placegetter behind Maldivian.
The Kris Lees-trained Samantha Miss backed-up and enjoyed a stellar three and a half-length victory at Flemington next start in the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) as the odds-on favourite, and Vandyke is planning the exact path this spring for Yankee Rose.
She too will likely be stepped out over the extra distance during the Melbourne Cup Carnival for a shot at the Crown Oaks on the first Thursday of November.
Vandyke will also take her into the Cox Plate via the same Sydney lead-ups Samantha Miss contested running in the Princess Series of races.
Kicking off at Randwick on August 20 with the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) the series continues with the Group 2 Furious Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and culminates with the Flight Stakes on October 1 as part of Epsom Handicap Day.
“The plan is to go through the Princess Series to the Flight Stakes and then to the Cox Plate,” Vandyke said.
“I’ll probably give her a trial the Melbourne-way in between the Flight and the Cox Plate,” he added in a later interview this week.
He has scheduled an early return to the track however on September 10 at Rosehill Gardens in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) for Yankee Rose who he believes will be hard to beat first-up.
“It’s going to take a good horse to beat her the way she’s come back,” Vandyke said.
Futures Cox Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are firmly led by the Chris Waller-trained Winx ($2.80) who won the race last season during a stellar autumn – spring campaign.
Yankee Rose is also in the first half of the all-in Cox Plate betting markets at a current quote of $21.
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