Vandyke Trying To End A Curious Curse

By: Ryan Clark
January 6th, 2012

For a trainer that’s enjoyed pretty good success throughout some of Australia’s biggest racing carnivals it’s an almost unbelievable scenario that faces David Vandyke at Warwick Farm tomorrow.

Despite the Farm being his home track not once has he trained a single winner at the venue.

It has to be one of the biggest head scratchers in Australian racing but it’s one he can sooth as soon as tomorrow.

Vandyke will produce two strong winning chances on tomorrow’s card as he hopes to remove the mother of all monkeys from his back.

“I’ve never trained a winner at Warwick Farm before but hopefully I’ve got two good chances (tomorrow),” Vandyke said.

Hidden Gem is one of his nominations as well as Bag Of Nickels which will run in the Ranvet Handicap over a mile.

“Bag Of Nickels has improved since her Rosehill win,” he said.

“She did have a good blow after that race and it has brought her fitness forward nicely. I think she will be better suited in this race and the extra 100m won’t hurt.”

There is one lingering issue about her participation though, stewards are currently investigating the ownership group as well as the conduct of former harness racing steward Matthew Bentley in the mounting yard after her Boxing Day triumph.

Vandyke is confident the drama will be sorted out today and the team can continue ahead as planned.

Hidden Gem meanwhile will run first up in the TAB Number One Club Handicap over 1400m.

He will be ridden by Blake Spriggs who’s 1.5kg claim brings him down to 58kg and Vandyke is hoping he can replicate his previous efforts when fresh .

“He’s taken a lot longer to come to hand this preparation than previously,” Vandyke explained.

“The 1400m is ideal for him first-up as he does sprint well fresh. It is not a long straight at Warwick Farm and the plan is to be sneaking into it before the turn and be within striking distance at the furlong.”

It took the gelding three barrier trials to get to the level of fitness Vandyke was happy with.

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