A refreshed Arabian Gold will take on ‘the boys’ in the Group 3 $150,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Warwick Farm trainer David Vandyke was tempted to run Arabian Gold in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick last Saturday after the filly won the Group 3 $200,000 TAB Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 12.
But he said he was glad that his filly didn’t go around in the $4m weight for age contest and the extra week’s freshen up has her back to feeling one hundred per cent.
“The effort told on her and she definitely needed the week off,” Vandyke told AAP.
“She has bounced back now and the extra week has helped.”
Vandyke feels that the 2000m of the Frank Packer Plate in ideal for Arabian Gold and that is why he opted not to run against the fillies in the 2400m Group 1 $1m Seven News Australian Oaks at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ last Saturday.
“She doesn’t get 2400 metres,” Vandyke said.
Arabian Gold is the only filly lining up in Frank Packet Plate and has drawn barrier two in the nine horse field with Damien Oliver to take over from Blake Shinn who will be riding the John Thompson trained Hooked after the pair ran third in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 12.
“Damien Oliver will ride her and she drops in weight to 54-1/2 kilos so that also helps,” Vandyke said.
If Arabian Gold races up to expectations on Saturday and pulls up fine Vandyke will consider a trip to Queensland for a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign.
Gai Waterhouse has accepted with two runners in the Frank Packer Plate with Tommy Berry to ride Pheidon and Brenton Avdulla will partner Equator.
And Peter Snowden will also have two runners with Shirka, to be ridden by Christian Reith, and Malice with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.