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Baccarat Baby too tough in Guineas

Jockey Michael Hellyer rides Baccarat Baby (file image)
Jockey Michael Hellyer says Baccarat Baby’s toughness makes her his favourite horse.

Trainer David Vandyke admitted even he had nearly given up in the middle stages before his tough filly Baccarat Baby won the Group Three Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) on Saturday.

Baccarat Bay ($3.70) was trapped deep in the middle of the field at the 800m but quickly had the field covered at the 300m.

She went on to beat the favourite Junipal ($3.60) by 2-1/2 lengths with a short neck to Zavance ($18) in third pace.

Vandyke said he had trained better horses but none tougher than Baccarat Baby.

“In the middle stages I was ready to sell out and was thinking she had such a tough run that I would be happy if she ran third and pulled up alright,” Vandyke said.

“But I had forgotten just how tough she is and she showed it again.”

Baccarat Baby has had a great winter with a win in the Listed Princess Stakes to start the carnival and seconds in the Group Two Queensland Guineas and Group Three Fred Best Classic.

At her last start she was well beaten in the Group One Tatts Tiara after being trapped very deep for the entire race.

Vandyke said he had planned to spell Baccarat Baby after the Tatts run but had changed his mind.

“I told the owners she would be going straight to the paddock when I rang them on Sunday. But I turned up Monday and she was so well I decided we could go again,” he said.

“As I keep saying, she is just so tough and she tells me when she is ready to race.”

Vandyke said Baccarat Baby would now definitely have a break and come back for the southern spring.

“I mean, she just keeps getting better and we took her down for the Flight Stakes and she wasn’t disgraced. We will have a look at both Melbourne and Sydney this time,” Vandyke said.

Baccarat Baby has now won all four starts on her home track of the Sunshine Coast, but Vandyke said the options for her at the track would now be limited.

Jockey Michael Hellyer scored his first Group win and was thrilled to do it on Baccarat Baby.

“I won this race back in 2011 on Tuskegee Hawk, but it was a Listed race. It was my firsts Stakes race win and now it is my first Group win,” he said.

“But there is no doubt who is my favourite horse and of course it is Baccarat Baby. She is just so tough.”

Jockey Ryan Maloney said Junipal had made up a lot of ground but had been unable to rope in Baccarat Baby.

Jim Byrne said Zavance had peaked late in the race but could be competitive in good races as he matured.

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