David Vandyke concedes that Yankee Rose faces a big task in overcoming the likes of Winx and Hartnell in the Cox Plate 2016, but believes his stable star is positioned well to strike should the race favourites show any weakness in the Moonee Valley feature.
Yankee Rose has outdone expectations from her first competitive appearance late last spring and will carry winning form into the Cox Plate after posting her second-career Group 1 win in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick a fortnight ago.
Yankee Rose will carry only 47.5kgs as a three-year-old filly in the Cox Plate and Vandyke believes that she is ready to run out of her skin once more, after completing a strong piece of work at the Valley on Tuesday morning.
“Yankee Rose just really enjoyed it – she loved the big crowd and worked terrific,” Vandyke told Racing Ahead.
“We know that she can race handy however she does need cover. That’s the important thing with her, she need something to chase and something to do.
“I am quite surprised how well she’s come through and how much she’s enjoyed her trip to Melbourne. She’s eating well, she’s in a great mental place and her legs are good.
“If you go back to her first trial this prep she’d be lucky to win a maiden, but she’s just kept improving throughout her preparation.
“Between the 400m and the 200m last start, she ran 10.78 towards the end of the 2000m Group 1, and she’s dropping 7kgs off that.
“We’re up against two exceptional horses in Hartnell and Winx, but she’s in the best shape I’ve seen her in and I think she’ll run a really good race.
“This girl has been a mould-breaker right from the very start and she keeps suprising us with her performances.
“They’ll both have to be on their A-Game, as our filly will be ready to strike if there’s a chink in the armour of the better horses.”
Purchased for only $10,000, Yankee Rose won a pair of talent-rich two-year-old races in Sydney upon debuting in November last year and returned this year for an impressive second behind Capitalist in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
Breaking through for her first win at the highest level in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on Day 1 of The Championships, Yankee Rose resumed this time for sixth in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m); progressing to second in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) in her only other start prior to the Spring Champion Stakes.
Yankee Rose is currently available at 2016 Cox Plate odds of $13 with Ladbrokes, after drawing the ideal barrier 1.