Bobby Zen

NEWMARKET, UK–Vandeek (GB), who is currently co-favourite for Friday’s G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, was put through his paces by James Doyle on Newmarket’s Limekilns gallop on Saturday morning. Easing clear of his two older work-mates, the son of Havana Grey (GB) galloped over six furlongs in what co-trainer Ed Crisford described as “a nice topping-up bit of work”.

Unbeaten last season in four starts, including the G1 Prix Morny and G1 Middle Park S., Vandeek, who is owned by KHK Racing, ended 2023 as the highest-rated juvenile in Britain. He returned to action on May 25, finishing third in the G2 Sandy Lane S. behind Inisherin (GB) (Shamardal), who now shares the top spot in the Commonwealth Cup betting.

“We just came somewhere different today and it was lovely ground,” said Crisford. “James didn’t need to ask him too many questions; he just galloped out nicely, not doing too much before Friday.

“He’s never been on the Limekilns before so we just wanted to take him somewhere without overdoing it.”

Bred in Wales by Kelly Thomas at Maywood Stud, Vandeek topped last year’s Tattersalls Craven Breeze-up Sale at 625,000gns. He was a sizeable colt even at two but appears to have improved again physically through this winter and spring. “He’s a bigger, stronger horse,” Crisford said. “He has filled out and he has a lot of quality.”

Looking ahead to the Commonwealth Cup, he added, “It’s a proper race: there’s the horse who beat him (Inisherin), Elite Status, who looks very good this year; Kia [Joorabchian]’s horse Bucanero Fuerte won well in Ireland. It’s as you would expect, really. It’s a proper Group 1 field and he will need to be on his A-game. He seems in good order and he’s versatile ground-wise, he’s won on soft, heavy and on good to firm.”


The post Vandeek ‘Tops Up’ For Royal Ascot on the Limekilns appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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