David Vandyke is back to being bullish over the winning chances of his returning filly Yankee Rose who he declared would be “hard to hold out” in the Golden Rose 2016 this Saturday in Sydney.
Of the three fillies engaged to take on the colts and geldings in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on the weekend, all the pre-race day hype has been on the Chris Waller-trained Omei Sword.
After winning the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) first-up on August 20, Waller made a late call on Monday to accept his daughter of High Chaparral into the Golden Rose field.
She drew to perfection in barrier three of 14 for her second shot at a Sydney Group 1 and Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira travels down under for the ride.
Omei Sword currently sits at the top of the Golden Rose Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $3.50 for the win.
The forgotten filly in the line-up however is Yankee Rose.
As a two-year-old on April 2 during Sydney’s ‘The Championships’, the daughter of All American beat Omei Sword home by 7.6 lengths when the two ran first and ninth respectively in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Omei Sword may have the fitness edge in the rematch this weekend, but Yankee Rose at $9.50 in Golden Rose Stakes betting could represent outstanding value according to Vandyke.
The last filly to take out the Golden Rose Stakes was Forensics (2008) and she was also the last winner to do so first-up not having raced since a Group 2 Light Fingers win that March.
Originally Vandyke had doubts about the first-up Golden Rose Stakes chances of Yankee Rose.
Those doubts were quickly buried last Sunday however when the $1.5 million earner, who boasts an outstanding Rosehill record of two wins and a second from three runs at the track, galloped well at the Sunshine Coast.
Her track work in August had been below-par leading to a compulsory vet examination before she was cleared to run in the Golden Rose, which she has since passed with flying colours Vandyke told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“She put in a good gallop on Sunday – in fact, I’d have to say it’s the best gallop I’ve seen her put in on the track, albeit on a raceday with blinkers,” he said.
“I think taking her over to the races on Sunday, putting the shades on, and having the big crowd there certainly switched her on and we saw what we’ve been hoping to see all preparation up until now.
“I was a bit concerned [prior to Sunday], because as we know, two-year-olds often don’t come back into their three-year-old year.
“She’s been very lazy and disinterested on the track, so to see her run time, and mind you she did work alone … but she stretched out nicely.
“Michael Cahill also said that she was hard to pull up past the line, which certainly gives us added confidence.”
The additional of blinkers worked a treat and Vandyke said they would be on again in the Golden Rose.
“I’ve left the blinkers off [until Sunday] because I’ve wanted them to have maximum effect,” he said.
“And she hasn’t worn the blinkers since the Sires’ Produce.
“We got to the 11th hour last Sunday, and I thought, ‘We just need to see something before we go down [to Sydney]’.
“We put them on, and as you can imagine, they’ll be on next Saturday.”
Zac Purton reunites with Yankee rose on the weekend having ridden her to victory in the Sires’ Produce and in her earlier run when second to Capitalist in the Golden Slipper.
As well as Omei Sword a number of other three-year-olds with earlier form this season sit above Yankee Rose in the markets including the Run To The Rose winner Astern ($3.80) for Godolphin and Hawkes Racing’s Up & Coming Stakes champ Divine Prophet ($4.80).
Vandyke though isn’t worried about what the others are doing and believes his filly is the one to beat over the 1400m in Sydney again.
“She’ll be hard to hold out, irrespective of how the other horses are going,” he said.
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