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Vandyke to raise the bar with Mccovey Cove

By Glenn Davis

Caloundra trainer David Vandyke may soon raise the bar with lightly raced Mccovey Cove if the four-year-old returns to winning form at Doomben on Wednesday.

Mccovey Cove lines up for his second start this campaign and will be ridden by Ryan Maloney in the Benchmark 72 Handicap over 1350 metres.

The son of Husson was earmarked early in his career as a potential Saturday metropolitan winner by Vandyke, who is in great form training 12 winners from his past 50 starters.

Vandyke predicted Mc,ovey Cove would make the grade to Saturday class after winning a lowly Class 1 at Doomben last August.

He was subsequently narrowly beaten in a Benchmark race at Ipswich last October before being put away for a summer spell.

Mccovey Cove has started only one this campaign, resuming with a close second to the Kelly Schweida-trained Fleet Dove in a 1200-metre Class 3 at Doomben in May.

Fleet Dove franked Mccovey Cove’s midweek performance with a fast-finishing fourth to Sydney mare Lillemor in the Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic at Ipswich at the weekend.

Mccovey Cove is raced by the Harris Family and is yet to miss a place in five starts, with two wins and three seconds.

“He’s a nice horse and is very consistent,” Vandyke said.

“The furthest he’s been beaten is only a half-length.”

“I’ll know more about where we’ll head with him after Wednesday but hopefully, he’ll measure up to being a Saturday horse.”

The Harris family has five horses on the books with Vandyke, who deliberately kept Mccovey Cove away from the racetrack as a younger horse.

“I’m not a big fan of racing them as two-year-olds unless they show they are good enough,” Vandyke said.

The Harris family are part owners of star filly Duais who finished second in the Group 1 Australian Oaks at Randwick before claiming the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm on June 4.

Duais is a half sister to Vandyke’s eight-time winner Baccarat Bay who also was raced by the Harris family.