Yankee Rose ready to return in $1 million race
RACING: Dual Group 1 winner Yankee Rose will make her much-anticipated return to the big stage on Saturday and the Sunshine Coast mare is in good shape for the $1 million Memsie Stakes, according to trainer David Vandyke.
The four-year-old is set to compete in earnest for the first time in almost 10 months, after having bone chips removed from her knee.
With Dean Yendall aboard, she's drawn well with barrier eight amid a high-quality weight for age field for the Spring Carnival's opening race.
"I'm pretty excited about the way she is at the moment and I expect her to run a good race," Vandyke said.
"She's had a long time off. She hasn't run since November and it's a big ask, 1400m first-up but she's a quality mare and she should be finding the line strong."
Yankee Rose burst on to the racing scene two years ago, when she won the $1 million Inglis Sires (1400m) at Randwick as a two-year-old and then she snared another Group 1 triumph in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) there last year.
A third placing in one of the globe's greatest weight for age races, the $3 million Cox Plate (2020m) at Melbourne last year confirmed her status as one of Australia's best racehorses.
She went into the $1 million Crown Oaks (2500m) a fortnight later as favourite but finished 14th with injury, prompting the lengthy lay-off.
Connections were glad to see her back in promising trial runs and now she's ready to return to racing's main stage.
"It'd be lovely to see her run a cheeky race and show them down south that she's not done with yet," Vandyke said.
"This is a starting point for her preparation so I'd like to see Dean ride her conservatively and I really expect them to finish off the race well."
In what could be a good omen, Yankee Rose's previous two Group 1 wins were from barrier eight.