Alligator Blood (Image: Racing Photos)
Alligator Blood suffered none of the traffic nightmares that almost derailed his attempt on last month's Magic Millions Guineas when his float quietly entered the gates at Flemington at 4am on Wednesday morning.
Trainer David Vandyke reported the Queensland star, who has won eight of his nine starts, arrived safe and sound at the Flemington stables, which will be his temporary home for the next few weeks as he tackles firstly Saturday week's C.S. Hayes Stakes at Flemington before expected tilts at the Group 1 Australian Guineas and then $5 million All-Star Mile.
Alligator Blood was one of six horses caught up in a fuel tanker smash that closed the highway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast on Magic Millions Day on January 11, with the hot favourite for the Guineas only making it in time for the race after stewards delayed the meeting.
Vandyke is savoring the upcoming clash of Australasia's best three-year-olds in the Hayes and the Guineas as a bit of a throwback to the times when champion Kiwi colts would come and test their luck in Australia in the autumn.
"So many horses go in different directions now whether it be to stud or overseas so it's nice we can have this type of clash again," Vandyke said.
"It's very exciting. It will be great to meet the top Kiwi horse in Catalyst and of course, Super Seth, who is the only horse to have beaten us."
Vandyke broke the trip up from the Sunshine Coast into two days, with much of the float travel occurring on Tuesday.
"Door to door it was just six hours, so it was pretty easy," Vandyke said.
"He travelled down really well. Obviously, he's had a little bit of experience travelling. He came down with his pony and he appeared to be in good shape."
The only change to Alligator Blood's trip from last spring is that then he stayed at Cranbourne.
"We normally stay at Cranbourne but with our first two runs being at Flemington, it just seemed the sensible thing to stay there."