One of Bart Cummings’s great training philosophies has become David Vandyke’s mantra for European import Astronomos.
And the link is fitting given Vandyke’s Melbourne Cup pipedream for the stayer.
Cummings is renowned for his one-liners, among them the theory that patience is one of the cheapest things in racing, and the least used.
Patience has been the cornerstone of Vandyke’s approach with Astronomos, a four-year-old who will be having just his seventh start in the TAB.com.au Handicap at Randwick on Saturday.
“He came here from England and we’ve given him time to settle and acclimatise to our way of training and racing,” Vandyke said.
“We always felt that this coming spring would be when he would start to shine.”
Vandyke has placed the horse meticulously, every race designed to educate and mould.
This weekend will be his first test in Saturday grade, and an important one.
Astronomos steps up to 2000 metres and Vandyke hopes to get an insight into how much further he will go – in distance and class.
“I’d like to think he can get two miles – it would be nice to win a Melbourne Cup with him,” Vandyke said.
“But we’ll take one step at a time. If he wins on Saturday we’ll freshen him up and look towards a race like the Metropolitan.”
Patience has also be integral in Vandyke’s management of stablemate Drum Roll.
The three-year-old was in the mix for the Queensland Derby but his immaturity prompted the trainer to take a more conservative path.
The horse has instead been learning his trade on the NSW country circuit.
He posted a dominant win at Canberra in May, earning a trip to town where he finished fourth to Skyline Blush, one of his rivals in Saturday’s Ruben Guthrie In Cinemas July 16 Handicap.
Vandyke felt he needed more grounding before a return to metropolitan racing and sent him back to the country for a confidence-boosting win.
“That’s the reason we went back and made him repeat a grade at Goulburn,” Vandyke said.
“We feel it helped him understand a bit better what’s required of him.”
Drum Roll and Astronomos are among the leading fancies for their respective assignments with both to be ridden by Jason Collett.
Article from justhorseracing.com.au