Vandeek pencilled in for Sandy Lane return

Vandeek is set to start off his season in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock in May.

The unbeaten Simon and Ed Crisford-trained colt carried all before him in his juvenile year, with his four wins featuring Group One strikes in the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes.

He is seen very much as a sprinter rather than one for the mile of the Classics and Haydock will be his destination before his first major target, the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

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Vandeek on his way to victory in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket
Vandeek on his way to victory in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket (Tin Goode/PA)

“He’s looking super, he’s trotting and we’ll probably start him off in the Sandy Lane at Haydock at the end of May. One run before Royal Ascot,” Simon Crisford told ITV Racing.

“Commonwealth, July Cups – those sort of races we’ve got up our sleeve. The idea of not starting off in the Pavilion (Stakes, at Ascot) is we’d have to start training him a month earlier. Quite frankly, with the weather we’ve got at the moment, we’re wrapping him up in big, thick blankets.”

He added: “He was a little bit on the leg as a two-year-old. He was tall and lanky and never really looked like a sprinter physically. But now he’s beginning to take shape as a sprinter. His temperament is great and there’s so much to love about him.

“He’s done exceptionally well over the winter and fingers crossed he’s got a big season ahead.”

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