The Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) lived up to the hype on Sunday as the David Vandyke-trained Alligator Blood saluted for punters at a handy price.
On speed proved the trick with jockey Ryan Maloney on board as the son of All Too Hard hit the lead with just over 100m to go to win by half a length over race-favourite Dalasan.
The $6.00 on offer for Alligator Blood was enormous value after entering the race unbeaten in his previous four starts. With tremendous Queensland form on offer including a win at the Sunshine Coast only a fortnight ago, Vandyke still admits he had concerns early on in the three-year-old’s career.
“Not really, he sort of jumped each hurdle we put in front of him and he’s kept improving” Vandyke told Racing.com when asked on whether he thought Alligator Blood was a good horse.
“Like a lot of good horses, they get a bit older and they get a bit seasoned and they just lift to a new level. He was against the big boys today and it was just lovely to see him up there on pace and wanting to do it. Ryan (Maloney) just rated him well and rode him well and wow, he’s a bloody beauty.”
Alligator Blood showed tremendous turn of foot in the late stages after moving up to Roccabascerana on the final turn. Maloney did a terrific job staying patient in the early goings, but shared the same thoughts as the trainer on the horses form leading in.
“He’s probably a bit hard to line up considering he’d been winning really well, but arguably he hasn’t really beaten anything. I always thought he was a little untouched because he’s been winning quite easily up in Queensland and today he began really well and we ended up having a beautiful run in behind the leader, got off his back and he was really good” Maloney said.
A scary moment occurred early on in the race as jockey Jamie Kah was thrown off New Zealand galloper Yourdeel. Fortunately, the in-form hoop recovered just fine, while the incident hardly fazed Alligator Blood in the middle of the pack.
“We ended up having a faultless run throughout. Camped just off the leader, we had every opportunity to present and he’s done the job” Maloney went on to say.
The Ladbrokes bookies have reacted accordingly to the win firming Alligator Blood from $17.00 into $5.50 ahead of this years Group 1 Caulfield Guineas on October 12.
Only four horses have completed the Prelude-Caulfield Guineas double, with the last being Helmet in 2011.
Guineas favourite Dalasan ($4.20) also wasn’t disgraced on Sunday hitting the line strongly in a photo finish for second.
Full Caulfield Guineas odds can be viewed here.