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jcy123 Offline

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15.03.2019 04:18
tely.It is an awfully awkward question to ask someone under the circumstances, but racehorse trainer David Vandyke answers it ca Antworten

Have you been to Hell and back?In my life? Yes, definitely.It is an awfully awkward question to ask someone under the circumstances, but racehorse trainer David Vandyke answers it calmly and with consideration but still forthright and without hesitation.Few would shun the spoils of success, but when those rewards lead to ruin and push through to a very different, desperately unhappy place it becomes a totally different situation.There was a significant time when heroin and alcohol, to name just a couple of things, paled well beyond an avenue of escapism for a man who now marks a decade of very welcome sobriety.Vandyke will saddle-up Yankee Rose in the $3 million Cox Plate over 2040 metres at Moonee Valley on Saturday. The three-year-old filly is the fourth favourite for the most coveted trophy in Australian racing outside the Melbourne Cup, at $15 with UBET, but she faces off against the two current superstars of racing: Winx is shooting for her 13th successive win, and her second successive Cox Plate victory, while Hartnell has burst onto the Group 1-winning scene with his form including a slashing last-start success over subsequent Caulfield Cup-winning mare Jameka in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m).The pre-Cox Plate Tuesday morning tradition of Breakfast with the Stars at the track sees the tomato sauce-topped snags sizzling, the coffee machines pumping, and the galloping headliners top off some of their final preparations for the weekend events. Topline trainers, Group 1-winning jockeys, and punters keen for that extra edge in the selections stakes -- not to mention the free breakfast -- arrive for the 6:30am kick-off well before the sun makes its appearance.All the big names are there. Winx has all eyes focused her way as she reacquaints herself with the circuit where she came to everyones attention a year earlier. The unofficial First Lady of Racing, Gai Waterhouse, in headscarf and raincoat, is well familiar with the unkind weather these early trackwork mornings can spring up, as drizzling rain provides an inconvenience only matched by the sound of the bedside alarm.So it is while Winx and Hartnell do their thing that that David Vandyke does his own.Going into her last start in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), which was a Group 1, there was a lot of pressure, Vandyke tells ESPN of Yankee Rose. She was the favourite and it was hard work, but going into this race, even though it is the weight-for-age championship of Australasia, Im enjoying it. The pressure is off; were the underdog.Were up against a couple of superstars and were not expected to win. She is in great shape and Im confident shell go out there and give of it her best. Were coming off the back of a Group 1 win so its just great to be here in this race.Great it is that Vandyke, who once trained out of the Kembla Grange racing centre and then at Warwick Farm in Sydney, is here, too. Take what he told Fairfax Media earlier this year: One day, I put a needle in my arm -- heroin -- and there was nothing left inside of me. I just said to God, Help. Thats all I could do. I felt worthless. No human force could save me from that point.Add to that his time spent sleeping in cars around Sydneys King Cross when it was really the kind of place that carried its more well-known seedier reputation, shooting up in secluded mountain hideaways, drug and other group-after-group of recovery session, and he was in an awful place.There were parts of my life that I didnt think Id be getting up, Vandyke tells ESPN of both the prospects of getting out of bed each morning and of whether he saw any positives in pushing on with his life at all.I thought my time on this planet was limited. To be sober is what I perceive as a miracle, but to be standing here with the third favourite in the Cox Plate and sober is something that I didnt think could ever happen.Though success came earlier in his career, Vandykes wasnt necessarily a flash-in-the-pan success. He grew up in a racing family environment and took up his first trainers licence in NSW. At the age of 21, he had already taken out the Kembla training premiership.The success got to him, as he has noted, and one hit after another of what became a hedonist lifestyle on many fronts was never enough. He is honest, now, about it all. Since the night when a trip to his secluded mountain spot saw a passer-by walking his dog force open the car door and remove the hose that was fastened to the car exhaust pipe, his life changed. Again. Literally.There was the realisation that, perhaps, there was reason to continue and that, after that, a second positive chance was there for him to grab. Everyone has his or her way of reasoning and coming to terms with what lies ahead. For David Vandyke, it was the combination of communication and faith.No doubt my recovery group and my faith in a higher power [has helped him], Vandyke says. I always had that faith but it was a blurred view of



M.C. Klein

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