Trainer David Vandyke’s decision to dodge classy filly Guelph paid dividends when Arabian Gold was able to win the Listed $120,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield today.
Arabian Gold has finished behind Guelph at her last two starts at Randwick when second in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and fourth in the Group 1 $400,000 Coolmore Flight Stakes (1600m) during the Sydney Spring Carnival.
While Guelph went on to win the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield during the week, Vandyke stepped Arabian Gold up in distance and was rewarded with a win today.
Vandyke won’t confirm a start in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 7 until Arabian Gold races in the Group 2 $300,000 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 2.
“It was very good tough win,” Vandyke said.
“That was tough staying test then and she passed with flying colours. We will head to the Wakeful in two weeks and then we will sum it up from there.”
“She was doing it at the right end.”
“I was really glad Guelph won so impressively on Wednesday cause I wasn’t sure if I should go to the Thousand Guineas or try her at the 2000m today and it looks like it was the right manoeuvre.”
Winning jockey Peter Robl had Arabian Gold travelling smoothly in a solidly run race with Akagera setting a good tempo.
The top Sydney rider moved forward on the home turn and let Arabian Gold ($3.20 favourite) take charge at the 250m and the filly was able to hold off the challenge of Solicit ($7) by a neck with Refer ($26) battling on well for third.
While Vandyke and Robl have a slight doubt whether Arabian Gold will run the distance of the Crown Oaks, Simon Zahra has not doubts that his filly Solicit will run out a solid 2500m.
“She just keeps going home and licking the bin and looking well and if she does that after the Wakeful we will head onto the Oaks,” Zahra said.