Lessons learned from an aborted trip to Sydney have helped Alligator Blood prevail in the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
Alligator Blood was scheduled to run at Rosehill last month, only to be scratched after becoming agitated in the race day stalls.
Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke brought the three-year-old to Melbourne early ahead of Sunday’s race and gave the gelding a gallop at Caulfield on Tuesday morning.
Although soundly beaten in that gallop, that did not concern Vandyke who was more interested in how Alligator Blood responded to the new surrounds.
The trip in the early hours of Tuesday morning paid dividends with Alligator Blood ($6) under Ryan Maloney recording a three-quarter length victory from the $2.30 favourite Dalasan with Groundswell ($18) a short-head away in third place.
“After the carry-on at Rosehill we thought we better go and bring him to the track here and see how he behaves,” Vandyke said.
“Mick Kent was kind enough to lend us his pony, organise floating and he’s been an instrumental part in getting this horse here today. I can’t thank him enough.”
Vandyke said Alligator Blood behaved well and was in the right headspace for Sunday’s 1400m-race.
Alligator Blood will now attempt to emulate his sire All Too Hard who won the Caulfield Guineas in 2012.
The Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m) is on October 12 and Alligator Blood firmed from $15 to $5 for that race after his win on Sunday.
Vandyke has no doubt the rise in distance will suit the gelding.
“I can’t wait until we get out to the mile and do what his dad did,” Vandyke said.
Raquel Clark, rider of the runner-up, Dalasan, said the South Australian-trained three-year-old was lost at his first attempt at Caulfield.
Dalasan firmed from $4.20 to $4 favourite for the Caulfield Guineas and Clark suggested blinkers may be applied in the Guineas.
James McDonald said third placegetter Groundswell was a lovely horse who would appreciate stepping up to 1600m.
“He’ll only get better as the prep gets on,” McDonald said.
Jamie Kah escaped injury when she fell from Yourdeel near the 1000m-mark.
She walked back to the jockeys’ room and was stood down from riding Gogethergirl in the Thousand Guineas Prelude before being cleared to ride Gatting in the Group One Underwood Stakes.