By Glenn Davis
Unbeaten sprinter Alligator Blood will come under close scrutiny from trainer David Vandyke ahead of a possible interstate trip when the gelding makes his comeback at Doomben on Saturday.
Alligator Blood steps out for the first time since winning the $125,000 BMW Two-Year-Old Classic at the Sunshine Coast on January 26 in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1200m).
Vandyke has a big opinion of Alligator Blood who narrowly won his only other start in maiden class at the Sunshine Coast in December.
Vandyke nominated Alligator Blood for the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill in April as well as the other major two-year-old autumn races in Sydney but was forced to spell him following his Australia Day victory.
“We were considering the Golden Slipper and some of the other big two-year-old races in Sydney with him but he developed a slight hock problem so I turned him out,” Vandyke said.
“He did enough in his first campaign to allow us to back-off with him and allow the hock to heal.
“I’m keen to see how he goes as a three-year-old as his form as a two-year-old was obviously quite impressive.”
Vandyke has given Alligator Blood two barriers trials ahead of his return and is pleased with the son of All Too Hard’s fitness level.
“He’s been placed in his two trials but he was a little lazy in his last one when he ran second but I liked the way he hit the line,” he said.
“He should sprint well on Saturday and he’ll be very competitive but I think his best distance will be 1600 metres.”
Vandyke is undecided which route to take in the spring with Alligator Blood who cost $50,000 as a yearling.
“I want to see how he comes back first as a three-year-old before making any concrete plans for the spring,” he said.
“If he wins or races very well, he could go to Sydney for the Golden Rose or I could wait a little longer and head to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas.”
The Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) will be run at Rosehill on September 28 while the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) is at Caulfield on October 12.
The $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill in November also is on the radar.
Vandyke also is hoping for several scratchings to allow unbeaten four-year-old Skins to run in the Benchmark 75 Handicap (1200m).
Skins, who is fifith emergency, won his maiden at Eagle Farm in June before winning in class one grade at Ipswich last month.
“It would be good to go to the races with two unbeaten horses as I’m keen to see how Skins handles the step up in grade if he can gain a start,” he said.
Racing Queensland webnews August 7