By Glenn Davis
Trainer David Vandyke will pay close attention to the performances of talented filly Baccarat Baby and unbeaten youngster Alligator Blood at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Baccarat Baby, a Michael Hellyer mount, resumes in the Class Six Plate (1200m) while Alligator Blood is aiming to maintain his unbeaten record in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1300m).
Baccarat Baby showed she was a genuine Group 1 contender last campaign when beaten less than one length in her eye catching fifth in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick last September.
Alligator Blood has won his only two starts and has delighted Vandyke with his recovery since his latest victory at the Sunshine Coast on Australia Day.
Vandyke hasn’t ruled out the Brisbane winter carnival but the Sydney and Melbourne autumn carnivals are likely to come first for both gallopers.
Vandyke has nominated Baccarat Baby, a daughter of Casino Prince, for most of the Group 1 autumn features in Sydney including the Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday week as well as the Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 9 and Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 23.
She also is nominated for the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 13.
“She’s not at her top yet but she’s ready for 1200 metres after she won a barrier trial impressively at the Sunshine Coast recently,” Vandyke said.
“She’s nominated for most of the three-year-old Group 1 races in Sydney but I’m not sure of her grand final yet.
“It’s an achievable goal for her to win a Group 1 and it’s a good time of the year for a three-year-old to win some Black-Type for her owners who still own her mother.”
Vandyke said he was unsure of Baccarat Baby’s best distance but was hopeful she will get out to 2000 metres.
“We know she can get a strong mile but I’d love to see her get 2000 metres,” he said.
Baccarat Baby earned a shot at the Flight Stakes after winning five of her six Brisbane starts.
“She’ll get back at Eagle Farm which is her normal pattern of racing and I expect her to finish strongly,” Vandyke said.
Vandyke is undecided on a Sydney or Melbourne campaign for unbeaten youngster Alligator Blood, a last start winner at the Sunshine Coast on Australia Day.
“He’s pulled up well and is nominated for the Golden Slipper,” Vandyke said.
“The Sires’ Produce and Champagne Stakes probably suit him better but there’s a chance he could go to Melbourne for their Sires’ Produce if he goes well enough.”
Racing Queensland webnews February 20