Arabian Gold shines for relieved trainer David Vandyke

May 17, 2014

Tony White

Pure gold - Blake Shinn and Arabian Gold take out The Roses at Doomben on Saturday. Photo - Tertius Pickard.
Pure gold - Blake Shinn and Arabian Gold take out The Roses at Doomben on Saturday. Photo - Tertius Pickard.

Trainer David Vandyke described Arabian Gold’s success in the $175,000 The Roses at Doomben as ‘‘one of the greatest reliefs I’ve ever had in racing’’.

‘‘In my mind I couldn’t see her getting beaten," he said. "Thank god she won.’’

Vandyke need not have worried. Arabian Gold dominated her three-year-old rivals to win the group 2, 2000-metre event in a canter by 1-1/4 lengths.

Her next assignment seems certain to be the $400,000 group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31.

However, when asked if the Oaks was definitely on the agenda, Vandyke, who trains at Warwick Farm, baulked.

‘‘It’s not set in cement yet," he said. "I want to see how she recovers from today first. If she comes through well the Oaks looks the logical step.’’

Starting a heavily tried $2.10 favourite, Arabian Gold had too much class for Toowoomba-trained Tinto ($13) with early leader Tornado Miss ($61) running out of her skin to finish third a further 1-1/4 lengths away.

Arabian Gold was bred and owned by Nick Moraitis, owner of the 1997 Melbourne Cup winner Might And Power.

By Dubawi, out of the Vettori mare Coablo, Arabian Gold recorded her eighth win from 17 starts on Saturday.

Moraitis is best known throughout Australia for the deeds of his champion galloper Might And Power.

‘‘Doomben has been a happy hunting ground,’’ Moraitis said.‘‘I bred this filly and she’s going fantastic. At this stage she’ll go on to the Oaks, but I’ll leave all that up to my trainer.

''Wherever they win is great. I love my racing.’’

Vandyke has done a creditable job with Arabian Gold and now a group 1 win looms large.

‘‘This has been a credit to all my staff and the horse,’’ Vandyke said.‘‘It was a dominant win today. She has an economical galloping action, well balanced and keeping her balanced is the key to riding her.

"You’ve got to allow her to track up and work through her gears. It was a great ride by Blake Shinn. He got one off the fence early and didn’t muck around on the corner [home turn].

‘‘She travels well and we know she can handle wet ground but she’s as good in the dry - bullet proof. It’s amazing, she just keeps getting better each preparation.’’

Winning jockey Blake Shinn also described the filly’s win as ‘‘dominant’’.
‘‘I was always in control," Shinn said. "I allowed her to slide up around the home turn and when I put her to the sword at the 300 metres she sprinted very quickly.’’

Shinn, while admitting the 2400 metres of the Oaks is uncharted waters, said he believed the filly’s class would prevail.