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By Graham Potter | Thursday, August 19, 2021

The David Vandyke stable sent two runners to Rockhampton on August 19 and the move paid handsome dividends for the stable as it came away with the perfect result after Blackboots and Night Express won back-to-back races in a forty-five minute blitz to round out the eight race card.

It was nine runs in-between wins for the five-year-old mare Blackboots, but a deft change of strategy for the daughter of Wandjina by the Vandyke stable … and a change of scenery … did the trick with Blackboots ($2.10) who made no mistake when romping home by a clear-cut 2.30 lengths in a Class I Handicap over 1500m at Rockhampton on August 19.

Those nine runs included two second place finishes, three thirds, two fourths and two fifths. In the last two of those starts, after resuming from a four-and-a-half month layoff, Blackboots finished in third and second place over 1350m at Ipswich in a 0-62 Handicap and in a BM62 Handicap at Eagle Farm over 1300 respectively … so she really was warming up for the win.

In the race jockey Jag-Guthmann-Chester positioned Blackboots in fifth spot and retained that position while saving ground on the turn, but Guthmann-Chester then quickly switched Blackboots out across heels early in the straight to give his mount a clear run to the line.

Once in daylight, Blackboots quickened on cue and built up sufficient momentum to have the race safely within his keeping well before the finish line.

Night Express ($2.20) then duly came to the party to play her part in the stable’s success with a win in a 0-65 Handicap over 1300m that was just as authoritative as the win of Blackboots.

Jag Guthmann-Chester got her going early from her wide draw and Night Express managed to gain the lead without too much fuss, from which time she dictated the course of the events ensuring that they unfolded in her favour.

Into the home Night Express had horses snapping at her heels, but they ultimately provided little more than nuisance value as, once Guthmann-Chester asked Night Express to do more she quickly found the extra required to keep all challengers comfortably at bay to win by 1.25 lengths.

This was only Night Express’s third run for the stable since transferring to the Sunshine Coast from the Henry Dwyer yard. She had finished fourth in her two previous starts for the stable.

The midweek meeting at Doomben on August 18 saw both of the Vandyke stable runners finish just off the placings.

The now four-year-old Tolkowsky finishing fourth, less than two lengths behind Kaiberry in a Class I Handicap over 1350m in his second run for the stable after having shown to good advantage when he finished second on stable debut on July 28 … which was his last run as a three-year-old.

Iamican finished fifth in a BM65 Handicap over1050m. This was the three-time winner’s first-up run when resuming after a four month layoff.

The Your Song three-year-old The Big Seal ($1.70), who did not race as a two-year-old, kicked off his career with a second place finish on debut on August 15 at the Sunshine Coast, his home track, in a Colts, Geldings and Entires Maiden Handicap over 1000m.

Jockey Michael Cahill pushed The Big Seal into the lead soon after the break and the gelding held his advantage for most of the trip, holding all of the challengers closest to him in the running at bay, but he had no answer on the day to the superior finish of Hard Reyva, who took off from some four lengths out of his ground to collar The Big Seal inside the final 150m to land a debut victory of his own.

More articles

Blackboots ... made a welcome return to the winners' enclosure at Rockhampton
Blackboots ... made a welcome return to the winners' enclosure at Rockhampton
Tolkowsky ... no cigar, but a promising enough close-up fourth place at Doomben

Photos: Graham Potter
Tolkowsky ... no cigar, but a promising enough close-up fourth place at Doomben

Photos: Graham Potter
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