By Glenn Davis
Jockey Jim Byrne has been given a rare opportunity to strike up a winning partnership with trainer David Vandyke at Doomben on Wednesday.
Vandyke has called on Byrne to replace regular stable rider Ryan Maloney on promising sprinter Bering Sea in the Benchmark 75 Handicap over 1660 metres.
Maloney has ridden Bering Sea in all bar three of his 17 starts for the Caloundra trainer since the four-year-old was transferred from Melbourne’s Robert Hickmott in mid-2019.
Maloney has won three races on Bering Sea for Vandyke and was aboard the gelding in his last appearance when a fast finishing fifth behind Jay Jay D’ar over 1400 metres at the Sunshine Coast on February 27.
Byrne rarely rides for Vandyke and is yet to ride a winner in three attempts for him this season.
“We booked Jimmy after initially thinking that Bering Sea wouldn’t get Ryan’s weight,” Vandyke said.
“That’s the only reason why Ryan isn’t on him tomorrow.
“We often use Michael Hellyer and Steph Thornton whenever Ryan isn’t available but, in this case, we managed to get Jim.”