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Punter's Guide to Thoroughbred Tracks
By Andrew Adermann
Alligator Blood’s Autumn preparation is in full swing following a jump out under raceday conditions at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
The Magic Millions 3YO Guineas winner was given an easy gallop around Corbould Park, striding to the lead at the 150 metre mark with minimal effort and holding off a fast-finishing Eric The Eel by a long neck.
The star gelding’s trainer, David Vandyke, said everything went to plan and the horse showed that he has recovered well from his Millions victory three weeks ago.
“I didn’t want him to have a hard event, he hasn’t had a ton of work since he won the Magic Millions Guineas, he really needed an event just to bring him back up to the mark and that’s what today did,” Vandyke told Sky Racing.
“He was very professional, he pinned the ears and he wanted to hold the lead to the line, that’s what I wanted to see and he had a good blow but he recovered okay.
"I was a bit nervous about how he would be back at the races but today he showed us that he really is a true professional. He’s bounced back and everything went perfect.”
The Gator’s long-time hoop, Ryan Maloney, echoed Vandyke’s sentiments in that the jump out was the blowout required to get him set for the upcoming campaign.
“The main objective today was just to give him a nice hit-out before he heads to Melbourne and if anything, I probably needed to do a little bit more, but David (Vandyke) will assess and all roads lead to Melbourne,” Maloney said.
“There’s just instant acceleration when you ask him for an effort, but he’s sound and pulled up really well from his Magic Millions Guineas win.
“He’s getting better as he gets older and he’s more mature so he knows what he has to do now and we’ve seen today how relaxed he is, so it’s exciting times.”
Alligator Blood will make the trip to Melbourne on Tuesday night, with the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes over 1400 metres at Flemington his first-up challenge.
“Our advantage in the CS Hayes is those other two horses (Catalyst and Super Seth) will carry two kilos more so it’s an event where he should be very hard to beat if he’s going to go on and win the Australian Guineas,” Vandyke said.
The Group 1 Australian Guineas over 1600 metres will be the Queenslander’s major target of the campaign, where he could once again face off against the New Zealander in Catalyst and Super Seth, the only horse to defeat Alligator Blood in his nine-start career.
Vandyke also stated that the All-Star Mile on March 14 at Caulfield is still a distinct possibility for his horse, where he is the $6 favourite on the TAB.
“It would be wonderful if he was in good enough shape to be able to compete there in such a fantastic event and we’ll certainly be working in that direction,” Vandyke said.
Alligator Blood currently sits first in fan voting for the race’s second iteration, with more than 8,000 votes.