Group 1 winner Alligator Blood will bypass this year’s Everest, trainer David Vandyke has confirmed.
Instead the star four-year-old will be aimed at this year’s Silver Eagle and continue through to the Golden Eagle on October 31.
The decision was made after Alligator Blood returned with an eye-catching third at Doomben on Saturday.
Vandyke said his stable star had pulled up well from Saturday’s first-up assignment where he was taken back from the barrier and settled near the end of the field – a change from his customary role in front.
The Sunshine Coast trainer said that performance gave him confidence Alligator Blood would be better over a longer trip rather that the 1200m of the Everest.
“We saw a horse (on Saturday) that will be better placed in the Silver Eagle over the 1300m at Randwick, say then The Everest,” Vandyke said.
“So The Everest is off the table and we will now concentrate on the Silver and Golden Eagle. From a Golden Eagle perspective he couldn’t have run any better.
“I think the horse is better suited over further than 1200m and I think he’s going to be pretty lethal over the 1500m at Rosehill in the Golden Eagle. All our strategy is aimed towards that.”
Vandyke said Alligator Blood did everything required of him first-up.
“Running well is only half the battle when we are headed towards the grand final,” Vandyke said.
“I think longer term and in the big picture it was an excellent performance. Judging off the way he jumped and relaxed, he may be a horse that ends up in the Cox Plate next year.
“He didn’t charge when he hit the ground, he relaxed nicely. I don’t know what he ran home in but it would have been one of the best closing sectionals of the meeting and that’s with the 61kg.
“I don’t set the program and it was always going to be difficult with that weight over 1100m at Doomben, so with what I saw, it was a good performance and a pass mark to head to Sydney.”