By Glenn Davis
Trainer David Vandyke is hoping his patience will be rewarded when one-time Brisbane winter carnival aspirant Deep Image makes his comeback at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
Deep Image has not started for almost a year since finishing fifth in to the Steve O’dea-trained Doubt Defying in a 1600-metre Class Six at the Sunshine Coast on March 4.
The five-year-old makes his return in the Class Four Handicap (1400m) and will be chasing his fourth win from only 10 starts.
Vandyke revealed Deep Image’s long absence from the racetrack was unrelated to any injury concerns.
“He’s fine. The only reason he hasn’t raced for a while is because I haven’t been happy with him,” Vandyke said.
‘He’s had a couple of preparations but I haven’t been happy with the way he was measuring up.
“He’s a tricky customer but he kept racing with his head in the air and it probably cost him a win last start.”
Vandyke has tried several gear changes in his work but each time Deep Image has resisted.
“Any gear I’ve put om him he fights so we’ve had to do a lot of work on him in trackwork,” he said.
“I tried something a bit different when he won a barrier trial last month and Jeff Lloyd came up to ride him and was quite happy.
“We just let him charge to the front and he raced a lot better.”
Vandyke had hoped Deep Image would measure up to the Brisbane winter carnival early in his career until his racing manners forced a rethink.
Deep Image was a $150,000 buy as a yearling and was rated highly enough by Vandyke to take on former star juvenile Winning Rupert when runner-up to him in the Listed Gold Edition Stakes in his debut at Doomben in December, 2016.
“He’s a very good horse but he’s his own worst enemy,” he said.
“I didn’t want to go back to the races with him until I knew he was in a good place.”
Vandyke expects Deep Image will be hard to beat but won’t formulate any plans until he sees how he comes back from his long layoff.
Racing Queensland webnews February 10