Little Ripper: Baby ready to show quality
BACCARAT Baby had to cool her heels last Saturday, but now gets her chance for a consolation prize in Saturday's Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm.
Trainer David Vandyke had mixed feelings about Baccarat Baby missing a run in last Saturday's Stradbroke after she was made the first emergency.
"When I saw how firm the track was, part of me was glad she didn't go round," Vandyke said. "But the other part of me knew that we'd missed a chance of winning a Group 1."
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Baccarat Baby has not raced since May 15, where she was third in the Wayne Wilson Handicap (1600m).
"She's got gate speed, barrier 10 is not ideal, but she's a quality mare and she's fairly well served at weight-for-age now," Vandyke said. "She's been carrying big weights against the boys, and coming back to her own sex and holding the same weight is a good result.
"We've got to remember that last time she went round at the elite level against her own sex, she ran a credible sixth to Melody Belle in a Group 1.
"That form would see her finish right up there on Saturday."
Vandyke is still waiting to learn of a hearing date for the Magic Millions Guineas swab irregularity for his star galloper Alligator Blood.
The trainer is not making public comment on the matter until it has been heard by stewards, other than issuing a statement saying the substance in question, altrenogest, had not been used to his knowledge on any male horse in his stable.
Alligator Blood is due back in Vandyke's Sunshine Coast stables on Friday.
His main goal this spring is the Golden Eagle, while negotiations on securing a slot in The Everest before that race continue.
"He looks well," Vandyke said of the Australian Guineas winner. "The extended time off has done him the world of good and I can't see any reason why he won't come back a better horse."
Impressive debut winner Wolf Man is scheduled to have a jumpout next week, after which he will be given his chance to earn a trip south, just as Alligator Blood did last year.
"We were tempted to press on to the J.J. Atkins and try and get him there, but he's still learning what to do and I just wasn't comfortable pushing him forward into that class that quickly," Vandyke said.
"My agenda was to give him one start, back off, move forward after the carnival. We can try and win a couple more races with him and he might end up down in Melbourne trying to do what Alligator Blood couldn't do in the Caulfield Guineas.
"I'm not sure where the ceiling is, but he's giving us every indication he could end up in the better races."