Maloney Answers SOS For Sapphire Stakes

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Baccarat Baby

Caloundra trainer David Vandyke has called on the Alligator Blood connection in an attempt to get honest Baccarat Baby back to winning ways.

Jockey Ryan Maloney will take over from Michael Hellyer who has ridden Baccarat Baby in 19 of her 22 starts.

Maloney will have his first ride on Baccarat Baby in the Group Three Sapphire Stakes (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday.

Gold Coast-based Maloney often makes the four-hour round trip to ride trackwork for Vandyke and he has a lethal strike-rate for the stable.

Maloney strikes at 40 per cent for Vandyke with Alligator Blood’s Group One win in the Australian Guineas a highlight of their success.

The jockey went past 100 winners on all tracks on Wednesday at Ipswich when he rode a treble including Cloak for Vandyke.

He has now ridden 102 winners in Queensland, NSW and Victoria to be ninth on the Australian jockeys’ premiership.

Hellyer has won seven races on Baccarat Baby with Jag Guthmann-Chester the other successful rider in her eight wins.

While Hellyer has done nothing wrong on Baccarat Baby, Vandyke felt a change might help the mare at this stage of her campaign.

Baccarat Baby has not won since October but has been consistent this term with three minor placings.

She finished was beaten less than two lengths when seventh in the Group Two Dane Ripper two weeks ago.

Vandyke considered spelling Baccarat Baby after the Dane Ripper but felt the mare was still enjoying her racing.

“She pulled up so well we decided to have another shy at the stumps,” he said.

“She was three deep in the Dane Ripper so it was a very good run considering and this race is easier.”

Baccarat Baby campaigned in Melbourne last spring but Vandyke has made no decision on this year.

Vandyke has a promising half-sister to Baccarat Baby in Amiche who has won her past two starts including her latest at Ipswich by three lengths.

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