Dean Yendall’s ability to ride at a light weight has given him another opportunity in a feature spring carnival race.
Yendall went into this year’s spring without a Group One win to his name but has registered two elite-level victories in recent weeks and also finished third in the $3 million Cox Plate.
He gained the winning ride on Yankee Rose in the Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney with a view to riding the filly in the Cox Plate at 47.5kg.
Yendall then added the Group One Myer Classic last Saturday on three-year-old filly I Am A Star who carried 49kg.
Now the Lindsay Park operation of trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig has called on Yendall to partner Seaburge in Saturday’s $2 million Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Runner-up in the Caulfield Guineas two starts ago, Seaburge is one of two three-year-old colts taking on the older horses in the weight-for-age race, the other being Caulfield Classic winner Good Standing.
They will carry 51kg which is between 7.5kg and 8kg less than their older rivals.
Chad Schofield rode Seaburge at 50kg when he finished eighth in last Saturday’s Group One Cantala Stakes but switches to Good Standing.
After Seaburge’s second in the Guineas, connections decided against a Victoria Derby campaign and instead opted to keep him at 1600m with three weeks between runs in a bid to boost his stallion prospects.
“I wanted to go straight to the 2000 metres after the Guineas. He had 2000 written all over him but there was a stallion value at play,” David Hayes said.
“I think it was the right decision, but he’s looking for 2000.
“I thought he was an ideal Derby horse. He reminds me so much of Criterion but if he could have won that race (last week) it was a multi-million dollar play.”
“And if he wins this race it’s still a multi-million dollar play whereas if you win the Derby it doesn’t add ridiculous amounts to it.”
Hayes said when Seaburge pulled up well from lastthe Cantala they decided to press on and give him a crack at the Emirates Stakes against a quality field.
But he was disappointed with barrier two as the colt, who is at $16, appreciates galloping room
“We’ve drawn the same barrier, which is a bit of a pain, as I wanted him drawn out a bit,” Hayes said.
“With the slower tempo he’ll travel easier.”