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Hong Kong interest in Roman Republic

By Glenn Davis

Exciting prospect Roman Republic could soon be lost to Hong Kong if the three-year-old lives up to trainer David Vandyke’s expectations.

Roman Republic produced a stunning debut winning an 1110-metre maiden at Doomben on March 4 and attempts to keep his perfect record in tact in the Class One Handicap (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.

Vandyke has been careful placing the son of Roman Emperor who strolled to victory by more than two lengths in his maiden win.

“He was entered for Doomben last Saturday and is nominated for Doomben next Saturday but I’m being very careful where to place him,” Vandyke said.

“We’ve had a six-figure offer which was knocked back to sell him to Hong Kong but I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t go there eventually.

“That’s why I’m careful placing him and hopefully he can put a few wins together here first.”

While Vandyke has a big opinion of Roman Republic, he would have preferred to start him away from his home track.

“There’s plenty of upside to him and he was difficult to train early on,” he said.

“He was very hot and didn’t want to go through his gears.

“He wanted to always push the turbo button from the start but he’s starting to learn now.

“I’m not in love with the idea of running him on his home track as he was better when he won at Doomben.

“He was a lot better the way he won at Doomben than he was when he trialled at Caloundra.”

Vandyke rated the Chris Munce-trained topweight Scathing as the main threat to Roman Republic.

Scathing has a win and four placings from his five starts but hasn’t raced since finishing third against his own age behind Guntantes at Doomben in November.

“Roman Republic has drawn barrier one and Scathing looks his biggest danger as he’s drawn next to us,” Vandyke said.

“Scathing ran second to Alligator Blood last campaign and he should get a good run.”

Meanwhile the Vandyke-trained Baccarat Baby will make her comeback in an Open Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday week.

Baccarat Baby, a winner of eight of her 18 starts, has not raced since finishing fifth to star Kiwi mare Melody Belle in the Group One Empire Rose at Flemington in November.

“She’s coming along well and has a trial and a jump out,” he said,

Racing Queensland webnews   March 31