By Glenn Davis
Trainer David Vandyke believes rival Exhilarates is overdue for a breakthrough win past 1200 metres but hopes it won’t come in the Listed Just Now at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Vandyke has named the Godolphin four-year-old as the major threat to his main hope Baccarat Baby in the 1300-metre feature.
Vandyke also will saddle up former Victorian mare Splendoronthegrass who will be ridden by Stephanie Thornton.
Baccarat Baby, a Ryan Maloney mount, made her summer comeback finishing sixth to the Tony Gollan-trained Sugar Boom over 1000 metres at the Sunshine Coast last month.
“She wasn’t really suited over 1000 metres but it was still a great run,” Vandyke said.
“Getting out to 1300 metres is a big plus for her and she likes Eagle Farm.
“I think she’s a good chance but the favourite Exhilarates will be very hard to beat as she gets good ratings in every race she goes around in.
“I can’t see any problem with Exhilarates running 1300 metres and she’ll win past 1200 metres for sure but hopefully not tomorrow.”
There is little doubt Exhilarates - a Glen Boiss mount - will handle the 1300-metre trip with ease despite not winning past 1200 metres.
At her only three attempts beyond 1200 metres, Exhilarates finished second in the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast in January and second in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm in May.
She then was beaten five lengths finishing in front of only three runners in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in June.