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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, September 15, 2021

It is quite unusual for the David Vandyke stable to have two horses in the same race, but that was the case in the opening event at Ipswich on September 15 where Vandyke elected to send out both Keefy and Sea Ripple in the five horse field that contested QTIS Three-Year-Old Benchmark Handicap over 1666m.

These two runners dominated the betting with Keefy ($2.10) just edging out Sea Ripple ($2.15) at the top of the betting boards with the remaining three runners all quoted in double figures.

Keefy, who was having his fifth race start, did have more race experience on his side compared to Sea Ripple who had only had one start prior to this run (which he won), and that difference did show to some extent in the final run to the line.

Up until that point, Mark Du Plessis had dictated a very ordinary tempo up front on Keefy and, although, Sea Ripple was right there in contention on straightening, Keefy was more sure of himself when asked to quicken off a muddling pace and Sea Ripple could not go with her stable companion.

The $15 chance Mishani Tulip though, was full of fight, ranging up along the inside after racing in last position, but not far off the lead because of the dawdling pace, for much of the race. In fact Mishani Tulip looked a real threat inside the last 200m but, the reserves of energy that Du Plessis had saved with Keefy duly kicked in as required and the son of All Too Hard starting to edge away from his only challenger over the concluding stages to score by half-a-length.

Sea Ripple stayed on for third.

This was Keefy’s second win from only five starts and it came in his first run beyond 1350m. Keefy has now had three starts this preparation, gradually building up in distance from 1200m to 1350m to 1666m.

His previous win came on debut. That was over 1200m.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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