While one of Alligator Blood’s owners moves into legal territory to try and get the horse’s Magic Millions Guineas disqualification overturned, Alligator Blood’s former trainer David Vandyke is just getting on with things and his training expertise was very much on display at Doomben this week where possible future stars of the stable came out to play.
Talking about coming out to play is a very apt description, as the most high profile of Vandyke’s runners at Doomben, the striking, three-year-old, Rich Enuff gelding Orbisyn, simply toyed with his opposition for the fourth successive time, keeping his unbeaten record intact with horse or rider (Ryan Maloney) never raising a sweat.
Orbisyn’s four wins have come by a combined total of 15.60 lengths … and, remember, this is without ever being tested while easily stepping up and progressing from the 1100m trip (on debut) to the 1350m of his latest equivalent of a track gallop.
One of Vandyke’s greatest strengths as a trainer is his patience and attention to detail. He doesn’t rush horses, no matter what their apparent potential, tending to space their runs to the benefit of the horse.
Even though it is Carnival time in Queensland, Vandyke was never going to break from his tried and tested policy by throwing Orbisyn into the deep end. In fact, Vandyke is just chuffed that Orbisyn has already come this far.
“We get quite emotional when the horse wins because so much work has gone into him,” said Vandyke.
“He was never easy. He was always a bit different. He has got a very strong will and it has just been fantastic working with him to get where we are now. He is just quality.
Vandyke’s other winner at Doomben, Weona Smartone, further underlined the coming strength of the Vandyke stable
With similar arrogance to that shown by Orbisyn, Weona Smartone also won with ease to extend his winning sequence to five wins in a row. In fact, the only blemish in his six-race career so far came when the four-year-old was beaten on debut.
Lightly raced, the son of Shamexpress, too, is still very much a work in progress but few can argue against the record he is putting on the scoreboard.
“He certainly is a smart one,” said Vandyke. “He ran time. He looked good in front. He is quick out, and he finishes good.
“He is quite a highly strung character, but he is learning and he is improving.”
These are the type of horses that, as trainers like to say, makes you happy to get out of bed in the mornings.
Of course, one theory is that the longer the winning sequence the closer the horse is to a defeat but, on the evidence shown, you can’t help feeling that the Orbisyn and Weona Smartone success story, with a perfect record of nine wins from the last nine starts between them, will not end here.