Warwick Farm trainer David Vandyke has not let the drama of last week colour his opinion of the Scone track and will be back with one runner at today’s (Friday) meeting.
Vandyke will start My Sentiments in the Zizou @ Turangga Three-Year-Old Maiden (1100m) with Robert Thompson to ride the New Zealand-owned Husson gelding.
It was the Vandyke-trained In My Image which bucked soon after the start of the first race last Thursday and left Peter Robl lying on the track with no feeling in his legs. Paramedics, who tended to him on the track, called in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to airlift him to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital.
The feeling eventually returned, Robl walked out of hospital that night but is now out of the saddle for at least three months and possibly longer because of bruising to his spinal cord. A stewards’ inquiry found that the saddle on In My Image had slipped back on to horse’s flanks, causing it to buck.
“It was a pretty ordinary day last Thursday but it was not the fault of anything or anyone at Scone that the horse bucked,” Vandyke said. “Scone is still a great track and the distance of Friday’s race plus the fact that My Sentiments is racing against his own age makes it an attractive option.”
My Sentiments has started once for a disappointing seventh at Nowra after leading to the turn. Prior to that he had run seconds in successive Randwick trials.
“I think the 1200-metres first-up was too far for him,” David Vandyke said. “He should be fitter with that race behind him.”
Vandyke really is hoping that nothing goes wrong this time. The horse’s owner, Dr John Rowan, is flying over from New Zealand, to watch the race.
“John flew over last week to watch one of his horses at Bathurst and we got to Lithgow and the meeting was called off,” Vandyke said. “I hope nothing like that happens at Scone or I am going to be in big trouble.” Keith’s Legacy, the winner of three city races under Vandyke’s care, is also owned by Dr Rowan.
Interestingly, leading Randwick trainer John O’Shea is sending topweight Supposing to Scone for the Mutawaajid @ Emirates Maiden with Grant Buckley booked for the ride. Supposing has run three successive fourths, one at Kembla Grange and two at Newcastle.
Meanwhile an old warrior and an exciting four-year-old, both from the Luke Griffith stable, will start in the Horsepower Benchmark 60 over 2200m.
Nine-year-old Kwilas Law, the topweight, will be ridden by apprentice Meg Hoey while Greg Ryan continues his successful association with All That Excites. Ryan has won on All That Excites at her last three starts, twice over 1600m at Quirindi and Tamworth and at her last start over 2125m at Cessnock.
“We always knew she had plenty of ability as a stayer but it was a matter of letting her mature and also work out the best way to ride her,” Griffith said. “She and Kwilas Law both have similar styles. They don’t like being restrained but instead race best when allowed to do their own thing up on the pace.”
While All That Excites will be aiming for her sixth win from her 24th start, Kwilas Law will be having his 104th start which has produced 11 wins. The horse has not won beyond 2000m and has only won one race on this track.
Griffith, who is based at Scone, is leading the country trainers’ premiership with 35 winners, seven ahead of Albury’s Brett Cavanough. Ryan, who has rides in all eight races, easily leads both the state and country premierships.
– Racing NSW