David Vandyke is ‘counting down the days’ to next year’s Golden Slipper after his two-year-old filly Yankee Rose kept her undefeated record intact at Rosehill on Saturday.
After scoring a surprise win on debut at the same venue a fortnight ago, Yankee Rose repeated the dose in the Jimmy ‘The Pumper’ Cassidy Golden Gift (1100m), a race widely-touted as a two-year-old form reference for the future.
Of her six opposition, four had won their respective barrier trials and one other had the benefit of two official race starts.
Rider Jason Collett and Yankee Rose ($4) were left with some seven lengths to make up in the home straight but the filly produced a devastating sprint over the final 150 metres to deny James Cummings’ Good Standing ($21) and score by a half neck. Finishing another two lengths back in third was the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Julius Caesar ($6).
Incredibly, Yankee Rose has already banked almost $180,000 in prizemoney from her two wins, virtually guaranteeing a place in the $3.5 million Group I Golden Slipper (1200m) which will be run on March 19 next year.
"I’m still coming to grips with that performance and the fact that we have a runner in the Golden Slipper,” Vandyke said.
"I know this filly will get over further – the Champagne Stakes (1600m) is actually the race I had tagged for her long term but to see her finish like that over 1100 (metres), she’s quality.
"She’s very exciting and the thing she has got going for her is she’s tough, real tough.
"She’ll go out on Monday for a nice six-week break and she’s going to mature, she’s only 445kg at the moment.”
A sure sign of a good horse is one which defies its pedigree and Yankee Rose, a daughter of All American from a staying-bred mare, has surprised Vandyke by her rapid progress.
"I thought she would probably be in the paddock after her second trial but the horse tells you and she’s just very exciting,” Vandyke said.
"Next preparation she will improve lengths.”
Collett was equally surprised by the filly’s performance.
"She’s not by a proven sire I suppose you could say, he hasn’t left any superstars but she keeps on improving,” Collett said.
"I thought I gave away too big a margin but that last 150 metres she went into another gear.”