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David Vandyke with Alligator Blood
Image: Darren Winningham
Trainer David Vandyke has been taken by Weona Smartone's progress this preparation

Hong Kong discard Weona Smartone may well be a better horse this time in, provided the stable is able to keep him happy.

Trainer David Vandyke has been taken by Weona Smartone’s progress this preparation, as he tries to build on his record of two wins in three starts, but he is mindful of a shortcoming the horse has.

“He’s a nice horse, he’s very fast,” Vandyke said.

“He’s not the most robust horse I’ve got and we’ve just got to be careful to keep him fresh, space his runs, but he’s certainly got a tonne of ability. In his trials and jumpouts he seems to have come on this preparation.”

Weona Smartone was earmarked for sale to Hong Kong, but failed the vet inspection and instead remained at Vandyke’s Sunshine Coast base.

Like most trainers on the eastern seaboard, Vandyke has had to juggle a few things with the training tracks so wet this week.

“I haven’t been able to manage them as I would if conditions had been dry during the week, so it hasn’t been ideal,” he said.

Toorooloo is another talented young horse Vandyke has headed to Doomben, having won her most recent outing on her home track,

Prior to that, Toorooloo was most disappointing when last behind Bleu Zebra at Doomben, but her trainer said there was a valid reason for the performance.

“She was very upset pre-race at Doomben. So we felt It best to go back to the trials and give her a good experience (winning the trial easily),” he said.

“She benefitted greatly from that and also benefitted from getting out of the enclosure quickly.

“If we follow the routine that worked last start, then she should be in a good place for Saturday’s event.

“Barrier one for a horse like her with good gate speed is ideal over the 1050m.”

Vandyke expects his other runners to also race well at Doomben.

“Hold The Line (Race 9) will benefit from the good gate and the claim, should get a good run in transit and be competitive,” he said.

“Iamican (Race 7) back to 1110m she can show good natural gate speed, so if she can get into a nice position she should run well.

“Cloak and Constant Flight (Race 5) should keep the more fancied runners honest.”

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