By Glenn Davis
Trainer David Vandyke believes a favourable weight, a perfect barrier and a liking for Doomben and wet tracks are the big pluses to help talented gelding Eminent return to form on Saturday.
Eminent is set to clash with stablemate Bargannon on a rain-affected track in the Class Six Plate (1350m).
Vandyke arrived in Queensland almost three years ago from Sydney and both Eminent and Bargannon were two of the first “outside” horses to arrive at his Caloundra stable.
“When I first came here a few years ago with some carnival horses, Eminent and Bargannon were two of the first local horses to arrive on my doorstep,” Vandyke said.
Vandyke has no major winter carnival plans in mind with either sprinter and was reluctant to separate the pair.
Vandyke had a big opinion of Eminent as a two-year-old but shelved plans at the time to head to Sydney for the major two-year-old races.
Eminent, a new ride for apprentice Baylee Nordurft, was successful first-up at Doomben in mid-February before a last start sixth when he stepped up to 1600 metres for the first time at Eagle Farm on March 9.
The daughter of Choisir has placed twice from three starts on heavy tracks.
Bargannon also will be ridden by an apprentice, Jag Guthmann-Chester, following his last start second in a Class Five at Doomben on March 20.
“Eminent won at his last run last campaign and he won again first up this time in at Doomben but his last run at Eagle Farm was a bit plain,” Vandyke said.
“He had 59kgs last start compared to the winner who had 52.5 which is why we decided to claim on him this time.
“He performs well at Doomben and from the good draw (barrier one) and with Baylee’s claim he should run very well.
Vandyke was impressed with Bargannon’s effort last start when the four-year-old just failed to haul in the Rob Heathcote-trained Trommelschlagen.
“He ran a terrific race last start and only just missed out,” he said.
“I’m delighted he also drew well (barrier three) and he should figure in the finish as well.”
Bargannon is proven in the wet with a win and a second from five starts on soft going.
Vandyke said both were certain starters at this stage but he was keeping a watch on the weather.
Vandyke also has Remarkable Son engaged in the Benchmark 70 Handicap (2200m) and Deep Image in the Class Six Handicap (1350m).
“I’ll watch with interest to see how Remarkable Son goes over 2200 metres but he’s bred to run it,” he said.
“Deep Image never got 1600 metres last start and is back in distance so he’ll roll forward more this time.”
Racing Queensland webnews March 28