Xanthus ready to shed maiden status

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August 9, 2019 - 09:39 AM

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Smart three-year-old Xanthus resumes at Doomben and is ready to shed the unwanted title of the best of his sire's offspring yet to win a race.

Xanthus is by champion rookie sire Better Than Ready who had 23 individual winners in his first crop last season.

Although Xanthus is still a maiden it has not stopped many pundits labelling him one of the most promising horses by Better Than Ready in training.

Xanthus first caught the eye when he beat older horses in a trial at Deagon in February.

At his first two race starts he was minor-placed behind top two-year-olds Vincere Volare and The Odyssey.

On both occasions there were valid excuses for his defeat.

At his only other start Xanthus was well beaten in the $500,000 2YO Jewel at the Gold Coast when caught on the wrong part of the track in heavy conditions.

Xanthus resumes at Doomben in the QTIS Three-Year-Old (1200m) and will be ridden by Jim Byrne.

Trainer Matt Dunn expects Xanthus to race well on Saturday but remains cautious.

"He is pretty smart and a win isn't far away but he has only had the one trial and that was an easy win at Beaudesert," Dunn said.

"I would have liked to have given him another trial but he has drawn so well in barrier two he can run Saturday."

Xanthus has been entered for the Group One Golden Rose in Sydney next month but is unlikely to make the trip.

"He is in it as a precaution but it is more likely he will have a light prep this time and come back for the Magic Millions carnival in January," Dunn said.

Rival trainer David Vandyke will wait until after Saturday to make spring plans for unbeaten Alligator Blood who returns in the Three-Year-Old handicap.

Alligator Blood won both his starts in the summer but missed the autumn and winter carnivals with a hock problem.

"I think he will be best around 1600 metres but I will wait until he runs at Doomben on Saturday before thinking about Sydney or Melbourne in the spring," Vandyke said.