French import Vayakhan left trainer David Vandyke hesitant about immediate plans but confident enough to chase an ambitious spring target after winning at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
With a European formline tied into a Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe placegetter, Vayakhan ran up to heavy support to make it two wins from three Australian starts in the Get Racy Handicap (2200m).
Vayakhan was backed from $2.80 to $2.25 and was ridden against his normal racing pattern before holding on to beat Murphy’s Delight ($3.20) in a one-two finish for imports.
“The plan was to get back and come home but Blake (Shinn) used his initiative and it’s not this horse’s go to be hitting the lead at the 300-metre mark,” Vandyke said.
“But it’s probably a good education for him to do it.”
Vayakhan is entered for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Sydney Cup and while they represent a quantum leap from midweek racing, Vandyke says it is not an improbable transition given the four-year-old’s French credentials.
“He was placed behind Intello twice in France and that horse ran a place in the Arc last year,” Vandyke said.
“We’ve got options. We could go to the Chairman’s Handicap, we could go to the Sydney Cup and we could go to a midweek race in three weeks on the Kensington track.
“He’s still a bit light this time in but he’s a horse for the (Group One) Metropolitan,” Vandyke said.
The future might be just as bright for 23-year-old apprentice Jessica Taylor after she posted her first city win on $41 chance Forbidden Jewel in the TAB Early Quaddie Handicap.
“I’ve had quite a few placings in town but I always seemed to be getting pinged on the line,” she said.
Forbidden Jewel is by Fastnet Rock but she cost trainer Scott Singleton a modest $10,000.
“She’s got really bad front legs but she is worth what we paid for her as a broodmare alone and she is probably worth a bit more now,” Singleton’s wife Lucy said.
Queanbeyan trainer Garry Clarke also had his first city winner when Oh So Adorable was too speedy for her opposition in the TAB Quaddie Handicap.