Trainer David Vandyke has revealed that talented mare Arabian Gold is a bigger horse ahead of her return to racing in the 2014 Golden Pendant at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Arabian Gold was sent to the spelling paddock after she finished second behind Tinto in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31 and Vandyke told Racing Ahead that the Dubawi mare has taken plenty of benefit from her stint away from the stable.
While Vandyke is thrilled with the physical condition of Arabian Gold, as well as her barrier trial form, he does not believe that his star mare is a winning chance in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1500m) on Saturday.
“We are all looking forward to Saturday,” Vandyke said.
“She has done terrific since coming back from a spell.
“We were looking for a really solid trial out of her the other week and she gave us that.
“She found the line strong and her race has been good since.
“She has done well, she is a bigger mare now than what she was when she was a three-year-old filly and she has put on about 14 kilos.
“I am confident that she will make the transition, which many don’t, from there three-year-old years to four-year-old and up.
“I think that she is going to be competitive on Saturday, but her record would also suggest that she is not a first-up horse.
“She is quiet vulnerable and normally needs the run and what we are looking for Saturday is to see Blake get cover, give her an easy time early and then expose her in the straight.
“I am confident that she will be hitting the line hard.”
Arabian Gold has been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 and the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 4, but Vandyke said that the talented mare is set to head to Melbourne after running in the Golden Pendant.
Vandyke confirmed that the Cox Plate was the major 2014 Spring Racing Carnival target for Arabian Gold, but he believes that there are plenty of options for the four-year-old in Melbourne.
“We will go to the Toorak after the Golden Pendant and then pending her performance in the Toorak we may go to the Cox Plate two weeks later.
“If we aren’t happy with her we have other options down there including the Mackinnon or even the Matriarch, which is after the Melbourne Cup.
“Being a genuine 2000 metre horse it is a good time of year to have her racing down in Melbourne and there are those options that I have said.”
Arabian Gold is currently available at 2014 Cox Plate odds of $51 with Ladbrokes Australia.