RACING: Sunshine Coast's star filly Yankee Rose is poised for a career-best run in the prestigious Cox Plate, according to her trainer David Vandyke.
The three-year-old will compete in the $3million Group 1 race (2040m) in Melbourne on Saturday, with veteran hoop Dean Yendall aboard.
And connections are itching to see her take on star mare Winx and co at the tight Moonee Valley circuit.
"Her mental attitude is spot on, physically she's very fit and well and ready,” Vandyke said.
"There's a lot of serious pluses and I think she's ready to put in a career-best performance.”
She's regarded a 15-1 chance to win Australia's truest test of a horse's ability, in a field which includes defending champ and glamour mare Winx and the impressive Hartnell.
But Vandyke said his charge could surprise, if the duo err at all.
"They are superstars, Winx is a champion. However, our filly is in terrific shape and they would want to bring their A game,” he said.
Yankee Rose relocated from Sydney to Caloundra with Vandyke earlier this year, after finishing second in the world's richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5million Golden Slipper, in Sydney last year, when she also won the Group 1 Inglis Sires.
She has thrived at her new home in Corbould Park and recently won the Group 1 Spring Champion (2000m) at Caulfield.
Yankee Rose is yet to race at the iconic track but Vandyke expected her to have little trouble adjusting to short straights.
"You never really know until you get out there but I think she'll handle it well,” he said.
While the Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation, the Cox Plate is regarded by many as the truest test of a horse's racing ability.
That Yankee Rose has got to one of the biggest stages in sport is remarkable.
A $10,000 purchase, she has surprised many to amass $1.92million in prize money, with four wins from seven starts. She has been unplaced just once.
"It's a race where the best horses in the country perform and to be rubbing shoulders with Winx and Hartness and some of the others is just amazing.”
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.