Yao Dash gives trainers plenty to think about

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have some thinking to do after Yao Dash beat a field of budding stars in the Strawberry Hills Stud 3YO Benchmark 72 Handicap (1300m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Yao Dash had plenty of support in pre-race betting, firming on-course from $3.60 to jump the $3.30 favourite and he led throughout to defeat Funstar ($6) by a half-length with another filly, Emeralds ($41) catching the eye over the later stages, three-quarters of a length back in third.

“He’s taken the next step,” winning rider Nash Rawiller said. “I was pretty impressed with him today.

“He’s got a great action and a beautiful attitude and that’s going to take him a long way.”

After the race Bott indicated Yao Dash has give the training operation “plenty of thinking to do” when considering upcoming targets for the Smart Missile gelding.

Yao Dash gives trainers plenty to think about
Yao Dash wins at Randwick on Saturday. Photo: Steve Hart.
“He really was impressive today,” he said.“It was a good test against a quality field, and I had a huge amount of respect for his opposition.

“He holds a nomination for the Golden Rose but whether we take a more conservative approach or throw him in the deep end, that’s what we’ve got to decide in the next 48 hours.

“I like the way he relaxed today. Stretching out in trip, he showed good natural speed and I think he could sustain that up to a trip. I think when he gets out to a mile, we’ll really see his best.” firm Yao Dash’s Golden Rose quote from $26 into $15 following the win.

Godolphin galloper Pandemic was favourite for the race all week until replaced by Yao Dash at the top of the markets late in the piece.

The son of Sepoy finished fourth and trainer James Cummings offered no excuse for the $3.40 chance.

“I thought he went ok, but he was disappointing,” Cummings said.

“Considering he was on such a progression, I think the 1300 metres was just a bridge too far.”

R1 3YO BM 72 HCP 1300m $123K Soft 5
1 @400m
1 @800m
$3.30 $3.30

3. Funstar (5)

J: James McDonald(58kg) 

4 @400m
4 @800m
0.5L $1.85 $6.00 $1.80 $1.70 $1.70

9. Emeralds (1)

J: Robbie Dolan(52.5kg) 

5 @400m
5 @800m
1.3L $6.50 $41 $5.60 $6.10 $7.00

2. Pandemic (4)

J: Tommy Berry(58.5kg) 

6 @400m
6 @800m
2.8L $3.40

Story courtesy of Racenet / Clinton Payne