Ryan Maloney rides Alligator Blood to victory in the Vo Rogue Plate.
Ryan Maloney rides Alligator Blood to victory in the Vo Rogue Plate.

Magic first for Alligator but only the beginning

AS superlatives and huge predictions rolled in for Alligator Blood at the weekend, trainer David Vandyke is preferring to tick off the big assignment on the Gold Coast before setting his sights on more lofty targets.

Alligator Blood made it seven wins in eight starts in the Vo Rogue Plate at Eagle Farm on Saturday and some experts are already looking farther afield than the Magic Millions Guineas.

Former Melbourne Racing Club chairman and noted form student Mike Symons described Alligator Blood as a potential weight-for-age star and Vandyke has had no shortage of suggestions on where to send the gelding next season.

"I've had people texting me Cox Plates and trips to Japan, all sorts of things," he told Radio TAB's Past the Post on Sunday.

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"I'm taking the view we have some races ahead of us, the Guineas in two weeks, then I'd like a trip to Melbourne for the Australian Guineas and possibly All Star Mile, then we have the Golden Eagle in the spring.

"Is he weight-for-age class?

"I'm not sure. I haven't got that far in my thinking.

"All I know is that he's never had to go head-to-head with another runner. He wants to win. That's the X-factor.

"That's something I can't teach a horse to do.

Alligator Blood winning the Vo Rogue Plate at Eagle Farm. Picture: Trackside Photography
Alligator Blood winning the Vo Rogue Plate at Eagle Farm. Picture: Trackside Photography

"They have to have his level of competitiveness at birth.

"It's exciting and I'm trying to preserve that.

"I don't want him to do it too tough, too soon.

"What he does down the track will basically be up to him."

Vandyke admits it's a "high-pressure situation" having a horse that has become public property and one that will probably be more enjoyable after the next 13 days are out of the way.

"It's a fantastic position to be in, but I will probably take a big breath and sigh of relief after the Magic Millions Guineas," he said.

David Vandyke and Ryan Maloney after Alligator Blood’s victory.
David Vandyke and Ryan Maloney after Alligator Blood’s victory.

"He's obviously a very public horse.

"He's been adopted by Queensland and … I'm just hoping he goes out there and does his best. There's so many things that can go wrong in horse racing."

Vandyke is not perturbed by the possibility of a wide draw on the Gold Coast, believing the horse's natural cruising speed will offset any perceived disadvantage from the barrier.

"If he draws off the track, I think (jockey) Ryan (Maloney) will just let him stride forward," he said.

"There's a decent enough run from the 1400m, so if he draws bad he will be in an on-pace position and he should be able to go on with it from there."

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News Corp Australia


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