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Byrne chasing breakthrough win for Vandyke

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.”

Bering Sea

Vandyke is hoping Byrne’s booking has come at an opportune time to breakthrough for his first win for the stable.

“Jim hasn’t ridden a lot for me but he’s run second a couple of times on Good Chat,” he said.

Vandyke expects another strong performance from Bering Sea, who was passed in for $240,000 at the Sydney Easter yearling sales in 2016.

“His last run was very good and I liked the way he hit the line,” Vandyke said.

“He had a big weight with 59.5kgs last time and was coming off a bad draw so his effort was very good.”

Vandyke believes a rain-affected at Doomben will be an added bonus for Bering Sea who has had four starts on soft ging for a win and a second placing.

The son of Pierro will be out to break his Doomben hoodoo where his record stands at seven starts for four seconds.

He also has three seconds from five starts over the Doomben mile.