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THE SUNSHINE COAST NEWSPAPER COLUMN: UNBEATEN ALLIGATOR BLOOD NOW CHASING GROUP 1 GLORY

By Graham Potter | Sunday, October 6, 2019

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

In August, in this column, the question was posed … could the good old Sunshine Coast have a future star in its midst?

That comment referred to a horse called Alligator Blood who, at that time, was unbeaten in three starts. Alligator Blood had won his races in sufficient style for his connections to begin eyeing some rich pickings in feature events down south but it was a given that Alligator Blood would have to step up to a new level of performance to claim that kind of sought-after success.

It is now a matter of record that Alligator Blood’s first visit down south did not go well. He did not line up as scheduled in the Ming Dynasty in Sydney after becoming very fractious in the race day stalls prior to the running of the race.

In real terms, his withdrawal there was more of a disappointment than a setback and, when he returned home to the Sunshine Coast stables, Alligator Blood wasted little time in putting win number four of the board, again landing the prize in the authoritative fashion of a good horse.

So, now it was all systems go for take two of the Southern challenge … and this time the target was the Caulfield Guineas Prelude, which took place on September 29.

The opposition included runners trained by James Cummings (Godolphin), the McEvoys, the Snowdens, Anthony Freedman, Hayes and Dabernig while the jockeys plotting a path to a victory of their own included the likes of James McDonald, Kerrin McEvoy, Tommy Berry, Crag Williams and Brett Prebble … a literal who’s who of the training and jockey professions.

A win here was no easy task … but Alligator Blood made it look easy.

Clearly, Alligator Blood had been prepared to perfection by trainer David Vandyke and his effort was complemented by a superb ride from Ryan Maloney.

Alligator Blood jumped beautifully. He settled in second place moving freely at a comfortable gallop. He tracked the leader to the turn where he switched around heels. Relishing the task at hand, his focussed effort saw him hit the front when it mattered most and he went on to secure a clear-cut victory.

Not only is Alligator Blood five from five now with his unbeaten record intact, but his reputation has soared along with that of Vandyke whose record of being able to accurately judge the capabilities of horses in his care has always been of the highest order. Here again, that attribute was underlined in emphatic fashion.

Next … it’s on to the Caulfield Guineas itself on October 12 where Alligator Blood is currently a $5.50 second favourite behind Dalasan, the horse who finished second in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude.

The Prelude was a Group 3 event with the race prize money totalling $250 000.

The Caulfield Guineas is a Group 1 event worth $2 million.

If Alligator Blood wins there we would have to take the word ‘future’ out of the question we asked … … could the good old Sunshine Coast have a future star in its midst … or we could just drop the question altogether because it would have been answered and Alligator Blood would have well and truly arrived as a star in his own right.

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David Vandyke ushers Alligator Blood out onto the track at Doomben on the day the son of All Too Hard completed a hat trick of wins. Since that win Alligator Blood has added another two wins to his tally to remain unbeaten in five starts
David Vandyke ushers Alligator Blood out onto the track at Doomben on the day the son of All Too Hard completed a hat trick of wins. Since that win Alligator Blood has added another two wins to his tally to remain unbeaten in five starts
This coming Saturday Alligator Blood will look to conquer new heights when he lines up in the $2 million, Group 1 Caulfield Guineas

Photos: Graham Potter
This coming Saturday Alligator Blood will look to conquer new heights when he lines up in the $2 million, Group 1 Caulfield Guineas

Photos: Graham Potter
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