Trainer anything but Brazen about winning hopes
RACING: A wide gate and average racing manners has forced new Caloundra trainer David Vandyke to "force his hand" and make two key gear changes to his Queensland Derby (2400m) chance Brazen.
Vandyke said a few things would need to go the three-year-old gelding's way if he was to be a genuine winning chance.
The $26 chance will be steered by none less than former Brisbane Jockey's Premiership-winner Zac Purton, who was also the first man to end champion South African jockey Douglas Whyte's 13-year stranglehold on the Hong Kong premiership in 2014.
Vandyke and Purton have combined to win a group one before, Vandyke's first, with talented 2yo filly Yankee Rose.
The trainer said Purton would look to settle the horse back in the field and be charging late.
"That pattern of racing has suited him in the past so we're not doing anything that doesn't work," Vandyke said.
"To help him do that I've taken the blinkers off and put ear-muffs and put the winkers on.
"If that gear change is effective under racing conditions and there's pace on, he'll be getting to the line strong."
The horse's sire Hinchinbrook was an enigmatic sprinter, which suggests Brazen isn't bred to stay.
"Zac got off him last start and said he won't win any staying races if he doesn't travel kinder in the run," Vandyke said.
"If he relaxes ... gets cover and everything goes his way, he's a chance."
Vandyke is among a handful of Sunshine Coast trainers with hopes in tomorrow's four group one races, as racing returns to Eagle Farm for the first time in more than 18 months.
Alan Jones will wait to see if his charge Sahara Siren can gain a start in the Queensland Oaks (2400m) for three-year-old fillies, while Stuart Kendrick, John Zielke and Darryl Hansen all have chances in the J.J. Atkins (1600m) for two-year-olds.