Heat told on Vinnie Eagle in Sydney

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike believes the heat may have been responsible for the disappointing performance of Vinnie Eagle in last Saturday’s A$250,000 Inglis Classic at Randwick.

Vinnie Eagle was one of two winners in the 1200-metre feature and whereas the other winner, Boomwaa, finished second after making the pace, the Cambridge visitor dropped out to finish 10th, 15 lengths from the winner, Peggy Jean.

“It was too bad to be true,” said Pike. “If he’d had run fourth and been beaten three lengths you’d say he wasn’t good enough, but he all know he’s better than he showed. He went very hard early and he was gone on the corner. He ran only half a race.

“All I can put it down to is the heat. He went from the 20’s here to 32 to 34 degrees in the few days he was over there and it might have taken the edge off him. Maybe he should have had longer to acclimatise to the heat.

“Anyway, we had a go and it didn’t work out. He’s on a plane home today and I’ll get him ready for the Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie. He’ll bounce back.”

The Gr. 1 $200,000 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes (1200m) will be run at Ellerslie on March 8 and will be Vinnie Eagle’s fourth start. He headed to Sydney with a debut win at Ruakaka and a decisive win in the Gr. 3 Barneswood Farm Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie to his credit.