By Glenn Davis
Trainer David Vandyke has started the mind games with rivals declaring Saturday’s Magic Millions Guineas a “short term” grand final for his star three-year-old Alligator Blood at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The $2 million race is one of the most sought after three-year-old races on the calendar for horses sold through the Magic Millions sales but Vandyke has big things in mind after the Magic Millions Guineas.
Vandyke is keen to send Alligator Blood south for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on February 29 and $5 million All Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield a fortnight later.
Alligator Blood has shown this summer he’s one of the country’s best, if not the best, three-year-old after going down narrowly in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas in October before returning home to claim last month’s Listed Gold Edition Stakes and Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate at Eagle Farm.
The son of multiple Group winner All Too Hard has drawn barrier 11 in the 16-horse field but will start from barrier 8 after the emergencies come out for the 1400-metre feature.
“What we’ve seen from him so far has been pretty special,” Vandyke said.
“He pulled up well after the Vo Rogue and he worked well on Tuesday morning and was strong through the line.
“I think he’s improved a bit further and he’ll be spot on for Saturday.
“It’s a hard race but this is just his short term grand final as I’d like to send him down south for the Australian Guineas and All Star Mile.
“Whether he goes away depends on how he performs on Saturday. It’s been very humid and he could well go for a long break if he doesn’t win.”
Vandyke is confident Alligator Blood can overcome his tricky draw.
“The draw isn’t a concern. He’s got enough gate speed to put himself in a nice position and there’s 400 metres to the first turn,” Vandyke said.
“Ryan (Maloney) won’t have to think too hard as he’s a very versatile horse so he’ll just play it by ear."
Alligator Blood is currently the shortest priced favourite in the race’s 20-year history at $1.90 and a win will be an emotional time for the gelding’s part-owner Alan Endresz whose wife, Joy, is battling stage four cancer.
Melbourne trainer Ciaron Maher has declared last year’s Magic Millions Classic runner-up Dubious will be hot on the heels of Alligator Blood after drawing just inside the Queenslander in barrier 10.
Both Maher and his co-trainer David Eustace and jockey James McDonald are looking for their first Magic Millions Guineas win with Dubious who was runner-up in last year’s Magic Millions Classic.
Dubious is one of the country’s most travelled horses and is coming off a trip to Perth where he finished sixth in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on November 30.
Racing Queensland webnews January 8