Arabian Gold is on track for the Cox Plate after scoring a first up win in the Group 3 $300,000 PJ’s Irish Pub Parramatta Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill today.
Trainer David Vandyke will now set his sights on the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 after Arabian Gold returned to the race track in top order with her win over Catkins and My Sabeel.
Arabian Gold was having her first run since a gruelling Autumn and Winter campaign that saw the saw her collect a hat trick of wins before running second to Tinto in the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm.
Arabian Gold was quick to regain her winning form that saw her win the Group 3 $200,000 TAB Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) and the Group 3 $150,000 Johnnie Walker Frank Packer Plate (2000m) both at Randwick before heading to Queensland to win the Group 2 $175,000 XXXX Gold The Roses (2000m) at Doomben before lining up in the Queensland Oaks.
The Dubawi mare has returned from a spell a bigger and stronger mare and Vandyke will more than likely head to Melbourne for the Group 1 $400,000 David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 as he works towards a start in the Cox Plate.
“She is twenty kilos heavier and it’s just fantastic,” an emotional Vandyke said
Vandyke sent Arabian Gold to the paddock after the Queensland Oaks and was unsure if she would come back for the Spring until he went and inspected her in the paddock.
“She had five weeks out during the winter and I went and saw her and we were debating whether we would miss this carnival but she just said to us bring me back in,” Vandyke said.
“After that torrid campaign up north it’s just a hundred per cent for this bonny mare, she’s come back, the world’s her oyster at the moment after that performance.”
“She is an amazing mare. This is her fifth straight carnival in Sydney, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and now this carnival here.”
Vandyke said that the instructions to Blake Shinn were to look after her and he did just that by giving her a soft run just behind the pace before securing a rails run to mow down the short priced favourite Catkins ($1.50) to win by half a length with My Sabeel ($18) holding on for third.
“He just stayed on the fence and waited, just showed so much patience,” Vandyke said of Shinn’s winning ride.
The Chris Waller trained Catkins was gallant in defeat and after being first out of the barriers, Hugh Bowman was able to give her the run of race but the five year old mare found wanting over the final fifty metres under the 58kgs.