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David Vandyke’s history-making Yankee Rose has set up a showdown with Australia’s best racehorse Winx in the Cox Plate after becoming the first filly to win the Spring Champion Stakes 2016 in Sydney.
The three-year-old daughter of All American celebrated her second elite level win at Royal Randwick after her Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a juvenile in the autumn, with senior hoop Dean Yendall breaking his Group 1 duck in the $500,000 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
“Fantastic,” Yendall said after the race.
“She just gave me a lovely ride.
“I asked her to really give a good effort and geez she hit the line well.”
Third-up this campaign, Yankee Rose was on the quick back-up and further franked the form from last Saturday’s Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m).
The Flight Stakes winning filly Global Glamour travelled down to Melbourne and handed co-trainer Gai Waterhouse her first Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) victory, while the runner-up Yankee Rose stayed on in Sydney and beat home the boys.
After travelling so well over the week, Vandyke was always confident Yankee Rose would be the one to beat in the Spring Champion Stakes despite no other filly having won the set weights clash since its inauguration in 1971.
“This filly’s never gone well like this going into a race,” he said post-win.
Yendall jumped aboard for his first ride on her back as a tune-up for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in a fortnight on the lightweight in that weight-for-age major where they’ll face off against today’s Ladbrokes Stakes winner Winx.
He rode her to perfection, getting Yankee Rose to switch off in the run and settle fourth last in running as eventual last-past-the-post Ready Fire Aim set the pace in the Spring Champion.
Ridden closer to the pace today up in fifth was the Team Hawkes-trained Swear, while Chris Waller’s Gloaming Stakes winner Veladero settled into second as he attempted a fourth win on the trot this time in.
With the blinkers on, Honeywine was racing keenly in third throughout, Yankee Rose ridden patiently towards the tail end of the field biding her time.
She started to get a bit closer as they came down the side of the course, but was still eight lengths off the leader with 600m to go racing to the turn.
She was five lengths off around the bend, Yendall asking her the question once on the straight.
With 250m to go Veladero jumped to the lead, but Yankee Rose was flying hard and fast down the outside.
Displaying a brilliant turn of foot out wide, the well-supported favourite Yankee Rose ($2.25) charged right over the top of them and beat home Swear ($6).
There was nothing between second and third, the Spring Champion Stakes trifecta completed by James Cummings’ Group 1 Champagne Stakes winner Prized Icon ($4).
“She’s trotting back nice and calm, super,” Yendall said of Yankee Rose.
“Her coat hasn’t come right through yet so I’m really looking forward to a couple of weeks’ time [in the Cox Plate].”
It was a top training performance from Vandyke to back Yankee Rose up, and she vindicated his decision with the historical Spring Champion Stakes result, but he was full of praise for Yendall.
“He timed his run to perfection,” Vandyke said.
“He was patient, it was 10/10, you would think he has ridden Group 1 races every week the way he rode her.”
Vandyke is now confident going into the Cox Plate looking for an upset over the defending champion Winx who chases her 13th win on the trot in the October 22 feature.
“I just knew this filly would struggle three weeks between runs going into a cox plate because she was doing that well,” he said.
“So I thought I better throw a nom in…and she just kept doing well all week. I was amazed, she was just that comfortable out there today.
“It’s been a fantastic ride with a fantastic filly.
“She’s all heart and she was so relaxed today.”
To check out the updated 2016 Cox Plate odds head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
2016 Spring Champion Stakes Finishing Order
Randwick Race 7 – 08/10/2016
|1||11||YANKEE ROSE||David Vandyke||Dean Yendall||–||8||54.5kg||$2.20F|
|2||3||SWEAR||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||0.5L||11||56.5kg||$6.50|
|3||1||PRIZED ICON||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||0.6L||4||56.5kg||$6|
|4||2||VELADERO||Chris Waller||Rory Hutchings||1.5L||3||56.5kg||$16|
|5||5||HONEYWINE||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||1.8L||2||56.5kg||$13|
|6||7||TUMULTUOUS||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||4.1L||5||56.5kg||$14|
|7||4||HIGH MIST||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||4.3L||6||56.5kg||$10|
|8||6||RETALIATION||John O’Shea||Tim Clark||4.5L||9||56.5kg||$20|
|9||10||KHARTOUM||Pat Carey||Joshua Parr||8.4L||10||56.5kg||$51|
|10||8||READY FIRE AIM||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||13.1L||1||56.5kg||$101|
|11||9||HAND IT IN||Rodney Ollerton||Chris O’Brien||13.5L||7||56.5kg||$151|
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