Trainer David Vandyke with dual Group 1-winning filly Yankee Rose at Flemington.
Trainer David Vandyke with dual Group 1-winning filly Yankee Rose at Flemington. MATHEW TOOGOOD

Trainer says Crown Oaks fancy may struggle with distance

THE trainer of the hot favourite for today's $1 million VRC Crown Oaks may have some concern about his filly's ability to run out the 2500m trip, but jockey Blake Shinn has no such reservations.

A $1.65 favourite on her third in the Cox Plate (Group 1, 2040m) and win in the Champion Stakes (2000m), dual Group 1 winner Yankee Rose appears to have a class edge on her rivals but is yet to race beyond the Cox Plate distance.

Trainer David Vandyke has admitted the 2500m is a "big concern”.

"We had Maurus win the Ipswich Cup during the winter over 2150m. He looked certain to appreciate further but was unplaced at $1.50 when he went around in the Caloundra Cup (2400m). He just didn't get the trip,” Vandyke told racenet.com.

"She's never been beyond 2040m so I have some reservations regarding her staying that distance, but if she gets the 2500m then she has the form to win.”

Shinn, however, who rode Yankee Rose to second three starts back in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick but was not aboard for the Cox Plate and Spring Champion Stakes, exuded confidence yesterday when quizzed about the Oaks trip.

"I've had a sit on her since the Cox Plate,” Shinn told RSN927.

"If anything she's come on. The distance won't be a problem.

"Traditionally in this race the best form lines and the best fillies win and tomorrow I can't see any different.

"Whatever way I ride her I think she's clearly got the class edge on her rivals that's for sure.”

Only two other fillies are below double figures in the betting: New Zealand raider Eleonora ($9.50) and the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Harlow Gold ($9).

Trained by New Zealand great Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Eleonora is out of a daughter of four-time Group 1-winner Ethereal, who took out the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double in 2001.

To be ridden by champion jockey Damien Oliver, Eleonora has attracted support in the betting, coming in from her opening quote of $11.


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