Trainer David Vandyke has revealed that talented mare Arabian Gold will be set for a first-up tilt at the 2014 Coolmore Classic at Rosehill Gardens on March 14.
Arabian Gold was sent to the spelling paddock after she failed to fire in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 and returned to the Vandyke stable earlier this weekend.
Vandyke told Sky Racing HQ that he was thrilled with the physical improvement of Arabian Gold during her stint away from the stable and he believes that the four-year-old is set for the best preparation of her racing career to date.
“She is fantastic,” Vandyke said.
“She came back the day before yesterday and she is weighing 520 kilos.
“We couldn’t get her over 500 kilos in previous preparations and she is just a different horse.
“She has really matured and done good from that back and I think we are going to see an improved mare when she hits the races.”
Arabian Gold performed strongly during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and Vandyke confirmed that his star galloper will likely have two race starts during each carnival in 2015.
Vandyke plans to have Arabian Gold very forward for her first-up run in the Coolmore Classic and he said that she would then head to the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 11 before returning to Brisbane for races like the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast and the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 9.
“I’ll go three trials and then first-up in the Coolmore and then probably go second-up into the Queen Of The Turf then look at the Hollindale and Doomben Cup,” Vandyke said.
“We had her winning over 1400 after two trials this last preparation and I thought that if I give her an extra trial and we go to the 1500 I believe I can have her spot-on to try and capture her first Group 1 race.
“She has pretty much done everything but win a Group 1 race and we are really chasing that Group 1 win this time around.
“Looking at the way she is now I can see obvious physical improvement in her.
“If we manage things correctly and we have some luck this will be our season for her.”
Arabian Gold has accumulated almost $1 million in prizemoney for owner Nick Moraitis, of Might And Power fame, but is yet to record a win at Group 1 level after finishing second behind Tinto in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m).