David Vandyke likes to make his races count in Sydney, especially when he earns a start in a black type event.
If he’s to grab a win this weekend at Rosehill though he’ll have to overcome one of the most competitive fields of the new season.
Fourteen horses will line up in the Premier’s Cup with Vandyke to present Hidden Gem.
He is well in with a chance in the 1800m test but from barrier 13 he will need a mountain of luck.
Vandyke has picked this race as one he can win though, Hidden Gem was nominated for races right along the east coast this week but he finally settled on Rosehill with conditions he hopes will suit.
That being said things are still pretty damp in Sydney and he’s hoping for a bit of sun over the next 48 hours.
“I walked Rosehill yesterday and it was definitely slow but it was a good afternoon and they’re tipping a good day today and also tomorrow,” he said.
“I just hope we’re looking for an upgrade into the dead range by the time we run.”
Hidden Gem was ona good streak since returning back from a spell, he’d placed in his first two before then winning two in a row.
His last start at Randwick was disappointing though and Vandyke decided to send him to the trials.
“I didn’t want to put him straight back into another race after his run at Randwick,” he said.
He completed that trial with flying colours so there are no longer any queries about his fitness, the track a far more pressing concern.
“He’s won at Rosehill on a dead five twice, any weather and its certainly going to make a difference for him,” he said.
Race fitness around this time of year is usually a big bonus for horses and given he’s five runs into a prep that’d usually be seen as a big advantage.
That’s not the case in the Premier’s cup though, in fact of the 14 runners not one is using this event as a first up run.