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By Graham Potter | Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Replenishing your stable stock is no easy task for a trainer.

It is never about numbers, but rather it is all to do with sourcing quality racehorses and therein lies a problem of its own. Quality bloodstock attracts a larger and more affluent buying audience which significantly increases the competition in terms of being able to secure the horse ... or horses .., that are on a trainers ‘wanted’ list.

The bottom line is that a trainer always needs to be busy on several fronts to be able to weave a winning plan together and, while things were moving uncharacteristically slowly on the track in terms of winners for the David Vandyke stable for a time, Vandyke was a winner in terms of sales ring activity, landing several runners that had taken his eye.

Welcome new additions to the stable include:

A Better Than Ready – Where It Began filly.

A full sister to the David Vandyke trained Beast Mode, who won all three starts in his first preparation, so it was a no-brainer that Vandyke would target this horse. Better Than Ready is Vandyke’s absolute favourite stallion and Where It Began (who is by Exceed And Excel) has had two runners, both winners (Beast Mode, three wins to date ... and the six-time winner Better Than Gold).

“She is bigger and taller than Beast Mode,” said Vandyke. “Beautiful type. I love the Better Than Readys. They won the Magic Millions this year (with Skirt The Law). I was very excited to get her. I thought we would probably have to pay more. She was very much a target of ours.”

A Better Than Ready – New Wings colt.

As mentioned, Better Than Ready standing as a sire speaks for itself in terms of Vandyke’s criteria while, for her part, New Wings is a sister to multiple Stakes winner Religify and boasts two winner from two runners as a broodmare.

“I thought he was a magnificent Better Than Ready at the Magic Millions,” offered Vandyke. “Again I wasn’t certain of we could get him ... and I was delighted when we did. Good family. Lovely horse.”

An All Too Hard – Lonxx colt.

Another obvious target given Vandyke’s outstanding success with the All Too Hard gelding Alligator Blood who Vandyke guided to a string of successes, including a Group 1 win in the Australian Guineas ... as well as All Too Hard’s all-around status as a leading sire.

“Outstanding colt. Outstanding. I thought he was the nicest colt I saw at the Classic Sales,” stated Vandyke. “Obviously I’ve had good luck with the All Too Hard Alligator Blood. I didn’t buy many there but I thought I walked away with the nicest colt and a beautiful filly.”

A Tarzino – Kaia colt.

Another sire that needs no introduction in terms of his strong links to the Vandyke stable. Tarzino is the sire of the outstanding Gypsy Goddesss, who won the Group 1 Queensland Oaks for Vandyke and who went on to be voted the 2022 Australian 3YO Filly of the Year before being retired with a race record of six wins from ten starts and $1.9 million banked in prize-money.

“It’s got a Melbourne Cup winner in its dam-line and we bought her as a stayer. That gives us options through the spread of horses that we bought ... which is what I wanted to do.”

A Cosmic Force – Cuban Gold filly.

Cosmic Force is by the much sought after sire Deep Field. Cuban Gold is a half-sister to Regimental Gal, a winner of seven races and over $1.6 Million in prizemoney.

“I don’t normally come into first season stallions, but he is out of a half to a very good sprinter and she is a beautiful, compact, neat filly,” enthused Vandyke.

A Star Turn – Lady Lee ... Ready To Run 2yo colt.

“He is in work now and is working well,” confirmed Vandyke.

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Beast Mode
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Photos: Graham Potter
Gypsy Goddess

Photos: Graham Potter
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