D-Day looms for Group I winner Yankee Rose

Ben Dorries - Tuesday September 12

David Vandyke has declared Saturday is D-Day for his Group I winning mare Yankee Rose and says she could even be retired if she doesn't perform.

Are Yankee Rose's best days behind her? Trainer David Vandyke hopes not but admits Saturday is D-Day for his Group I winning mare Photo: Steve Hart

Yankee Rose has been simply magnificent for connections, winning two Group Is and over $2million in prizemoney.

But she has always battled soundness issues and troublesome feet, most recently pulling up lame with a bruised heel after running ninth of 11 behind Vega Magic when resuming in the Group I Memsie Stakes.

Vandyke gave her a spin around Cranbourne on Tuesday morning and is confident she has overcome her latest injury worry.

However, he refused to use the bruised heel, and the fact rider Dean Yendall got his whip caught in the reins for a short time, as an excuse for failing to flatter in the Memsie.

Yankee Rose will now line up in Saturday's Group I Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), where she is a $21 chance on CrownBet.

Vandyke admits his confidence levels have been dented by Yankee Rose's first-up effort and says her racing future will come under major scrutiny if she doesn't perform on Saturday.

"The jury is out on whether she has come back well," Vandyke conceded.

"I am not willing to say that having a bruised heel, or the fact the race was a sit-and-sprint affair, was an excuse for her finishing ninth in the Memsie.

"She got through her Cranbourne gallop OK this morning and she seems fine after the farrier cut a bit of her heel away.

"Saturday is a big day for her and I hope she runs well.

"If she doesn't run well we will have to have a long, hard look at her racing future.

"She has a big group of owners and she has been fantastic for them, but if she fails on Saturday then we don't want to just keep doing what we have been doing and expecting a different result."

Last Saturday night, Yankee Rose was recognised as the Queensland Horse Of The Year and it gave former Sydney trainer Vandyke his first award in his new adopted state.

"For me, the award was a real acceptance and a welcome to Queensland," Vandyke said.

"I only wish that Yankee Rose could have raced in Queensland but a few things made that impossible."

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