Veteran hoop Dean Yendall gets his chance to break a career-long Group 1 winning drought when he partners top filly Yankee Rose in the Spring Champion Stakes on Saturday and again in the 2016 Cox Plate in a fortnight.
David Vandyke’s classy All American three-year-old Yankee Rose runs third-up on the weekend at Royal Randwick in the $500,000 Group 1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) against her own age as a final tune-up for Australasia’s weight-for-age championship.
The $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) lights up Moonee Valley Racecourse on October 22 and has been confirmed as the major spring assignment for Yankee Rose.
She won the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a two-year-old in the autumn and her latest run was just last Saturday when runner-up to Global Glamour in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m).
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Global Glamour heads south this weekend taking on the Chris Waller-trained Foxplay in Caulfield’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
Yankee Rose stays on in Sydney also on the quick back-up taking on the boys in the Spring Champion Stakes with Yendall coming aboard for the first time.
No filly has won the Spring Champion Stakes in over 30 years, giving Yankee Rose a notable hoodoo to overcome.
Despite history being against her, the bookies are taking no chances and she sits top of the latest Spring Champion Stakes odds at $2.60 through Ladbrokes.com.au just ahead of James Cummings’ Champagne Stakes winner Prized Icon ($3.90).
Yankee Rose was also one of 29 Cox Plate third acceptances taken by Racing Victoria (RV) on Tuesday where she will get in on the 47.5kg lightweight.
“It’s a great opportunity for me obviously and so I’m hoping for an easy, soft win on Saturday [in the Spring Champion Stakes] and then we go to the Cox Plate,” senior lightweight hoop Yendall told RV on Wednesday.
“The weight won’t worry me at all. I don’t really have to diet so much, it’s just a matter of stop eating junk food.
“A couple of years ago  I got down to 46.5 kilos to ride [Boomwaa] in the Lightning Stakes.”
Winx is at $2 in the latest all-in Cox Plate odds to go back-to-back, the ace mare shooting for a dozen consecutive wins this weekend facing just two rivals in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Yankee Rose can be found further down the futures Cox Plate betting markets at $26 to score the upset with Yendall in the saddle.
“She’s a really talented filly and although she’s still got to do it, I’d reckon 2000m shouldn’t be a problem for her the way she hits the line,” Yendall said of Yankee Rose’s Cox Plate chances.
“If she can get the job done on Saturday, then with such a light weight, the Cox Plate is a race she can really run well in.”
Yendall, 42, came closest to winning a Group 1 a decade ago when second in Adelaide’s The Goodwood (1200m) aboard Sassbee.
This season will be just his second Cox Plate ride after an unplaced effort aboard the Gai Waterhouse-trained Wandjina back in 2014, and it was him that chased the Yankee Rose ride.
“I had no history with David whatsoever,” he explained.
“It all came about one day when I was driving to the races and listening to the radio where David was talking about his spring plans with Yankee Rose and [former jockey] Jason Benbow rang me up and said I should get onto him about the Cox Plate ride as he knew I can get down that low [in weight].
“I had nothing to lose so my manager gave him a call and it’s gone on from there.”
To check out the full Cox Plate 2016 betting odds and offers and to lock in your Saturday racing tips at the right price head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!