By Glenn Davis
Trainer David Vandyke is hoping his recent run of bad luck with his star three-year-olds can turn around on his home track at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
Vandyke has 38 horses in work at Caloundra and hoped to be a major player in Melbourne with Baccarat Baby, Miss Quaintly and Asharani.
However, all are in the spelling paddock after Melbourne plans were aborted leaving Vandyke to concentrate at home.
Vandyke has five runners engaged on the mammoth 10 race programme at the Sunshine Coast and would like a track upgrade from its current heavy rating.
Vandyke has an excellent strike rate of more than 31 per cent in the Queensland trainers’ premiership with 13 wins this season.
However, his record on his home turf isn’t as good and is off the pace in the local trainers’ premiership behind leader Stu Kendrick on seven wins with Rob Heathcote and Steve O’dea next with five.
“I’m off the radar as far the local premiership is concerned,” Vandyke said.
However, Vandyke hopes to soon figure in the title hunt and rates Champagne Daisy in the Fencepac Maiden Handicap (1300m) as the pick of his five runners.
Champagne Daisy was placed at her first two starts at the Gold Coast in the winter before resuming with a close fourth to Godfather’s Girl in an 1100-metre maiden at Ipswich on September 21.
“She ran well first-up and she’s probably my best chance tomorrow,” Vandyke said.
“She should appreciate the bigger track.”
Vandyke also is hopeful of strong performances from Willo Titto in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1400m) and Trois Choix in the Rice Brothers Benchmark 90 Handicap (1600m).
Willo Titto is a daughter of former champion sprinter Pierro out of the Stakes winning mare Calchris who won the Listed Silk Stocking in 2008 .
She was successful as a two-year-old on debut on a heavy track at the Gold Coast in May before being spelled.
At her second run back this campaign Willo Titto produced a strong effort when runner-up to the in-form local Mymming at the Sunshine Coast last month.
“She’s up against a good one in Grim Reaper but she ran a good second to Mymming who has since franked the form by winning a class four and running second at Doomben today,” he said.
“Trois Choix has been racing well at Caloundra and 1600 metres looks to be her best trip.
“The home ground will be to her advantage again.”
Racing Queensland webnews October 20