‘This is what racing needs’: Vandyke pumped for big clash
DAVID Vandyke is taking a different perspective with star Queenslander Alligator Blood in the lead-up to his colt's clash with Kiwi star Catalyst in the CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Vandyke said the pressure was a lot less compared to what he felt before the Magic Millions Guineas.
"It's completely different," he said.
"If we finish second or third to Catalyst and or Super Seth, if he runs, then it's still going to be a great effort and there'd be no shame in that."
"It was different in the Magic Millions as he had to win that race and was odds-on favourite. If we get beaten, we're going to be beaten by a very smart horse."
This will be the first of two clashes between Alligator Blood, who has won eight of his nine starts, and Catalyst, who has won six of seven.
They will clash again in the Australian Guineas and then in the All-Star Mile, where both are placed in the top 10 in voting.
"This is what racing needs," Vandyke said. "Good horses racing against good horses."
Ladbrokes has Alligator Blood a $2.50 favourite in front of Catalyst at $2.80.
With the doubt over Super Seth running, he has been removed from the betting. Anthony Freedman is considering running him in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday week.
Alligator Blood has been at Flemington for almost a week and Vandyke was there on Tuesday morning to watch his star colt work, and was pleased with what he saw.
"My boy is in great shape," he said.
"He galloped nicely. He worked three-quarter pace over 1000m and then galloped up from the 400m and worked nicely."
Vandyke said it was a privilege to train such a popular horse as Alligator Blood, who has attracted almost 13,000 votes for the All-Star Mile - which is 4000 more than the second-most popular horse, Star Missile
Star Kiwi gelding Catalyst has arrived in Melbourne. Trainer Clayton Chipperfield said he had settled in well at Mornington. Chipperfield said Damian Lane would ride Catalyst in work on Wednesday morning.
ALL-STAR MILE - TOP 10
1. Alligator Blood (12,807 votes)
2. Star Missile (8735)
3. Melody Belle (8704)
4. Kolding (7692)
5. Catalyst (4437)
6. Mr Quickie (4058)
7. Heart Of Puissance (3765)
8. Aristia (3486)
9. Begood Toya Mother (3299)
10. Super Seth (3265)