Star Queensland three-year-old Alligator Blood is settling into Melbourne ahead of a planned three-run campaign including the Group One Australian Guineas and All-Star Mile.
Trained by David Vandyke at the Sunshine Coast, Alligator Blood arrived in Melbourne early on Wednesday morning after being flown from Queensland before heading to the Flemington stables where he will be based.
Vandyke said his stable star handled the travel well.
“He arrived this morning and he’s in good shape,” Vandyke said.
“He’s been before and he’s a veteran now.”
Alligator Blood, a winner of eight of his nine starts, is scheduled to run in Saturday’s week’s Group Three CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington before all going well progressing to the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) at the same track two weeks later.
The $5 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield is on March 14, two weeks after the Guineas.
Alligator Blood is the equal $4 favourite for the Guineas with star New Zealand gelding Catalyst while he is $6 favourite for the All-Star Mile and currently leads the voting which determines 10 of the 15 places in the field.
The CS Hayes looms as an exciting race and pointer towards the Guineas, with Catalyst and Caulfield Guineas-winning colt Super Seth among the other three-year-olds expected to run there before the Guineas.
Super Seth returned from a spell in impressive fashion, winning last Saturday’s Group Three Manfred Stakes (1200m) on a wet track at Caulfield and he is the only horse to beat Alligator Blood so far, chasing him down in the Caulfield Guineas to win in the final stride.
“It should be a good clash,” Vandyke said.
“Quite often we see these horses either sold to overseas interests or going to stud so it’s nice to see some really top quality three-year-olds matching motors.”
Since he last raced in Melbourne in the Caulfield Guineas in October, Alligator Blood won three straight races during his Queensland summer campaign which culminated in the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas last month at the Gold Coast.
He ramped up preparations for his Melbourne campaign when he won an unofficial barrier trial on his home track at the Sunshine Coast last Sunday, pleasing Vandyke.
“That couldn’t have gone better,” Vandyke said.