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By Graham Potter | Sunday, October 3, 2021

Once again it didn’t take the David Vandyke stable long to turnaround a brief run of second placings and get back on the winning path … and that change came about in no uncertain fashion at the Gold Coast on October 2 where Sundus and Smart Star Prince both added to their winning tally.

Sundus was the first to strike having little trouble in taking out a Maiden Plate over 1300m.

This was Sundus’s first run beyond 1200m and also his first run on a heavy surface but, clearly, neither of these factors held any fear for him as he gliding home unchallenged to win by a widening 5.75 lengths at the generous odds of $2.45 (favourite).

Michael Hellyer send Sundus straight to the lead from the jump and the daughter of Super One held that position at a comfortable gallop throughout. Shortly after straightening, Hellyer gave the four-year-old more rein and Sundus stretched out in a supremely confident manner which quickly ensured that everybody else would only be chasing for the minor places.

Smart Star Prince also landed the odds as favourite at a starting price of $2.10 and, in similar vein to Sundus, he also did it easy putting three lengths of daylight between himself and the runner-up in a Class 1 Handicap over 1400m.

Noel Callow landed Smart Star Prince in the leading line from the break and settled in third place on the rail, getting the run of the race, as Positive Tension ($13) tore away at the head of affairs.

At one stage in the sweep to the home turn, Smart Star Prince still had a four length deficit to make up but, with Positive Tension coming back to the field and Smart Star Prince improving quickly, the Vandyke trained runner ranged up alongside the leaders at the top of the straight.

From there, despite running in to a degree, Smart Star Prince simply had too much in hand over his rivals and he quickly opened up a winning lead under the enthusiastic urgings of Callow to the degree that Callow was able to ease back on the second Vandyke trained winner at the meeting over the closing stages.

That makes it a second placing and two successive wins for Smart Star Prince in this preparation in which he has gradually stepped up in distance from 1200m to 1300m to 1400m.

*It is interesting to note that, with this double, the Vandyke stable has now produced six winners from their last ten runners at the Gold Coast with that set of results also including two runner-up finishes.

The next day, on October 3, Demurral possibly gave notice of better things to come when claiming a 0.30 length third place in his first run for the David Vandyke stable in a BM 62 handicap over 1400m at the Sunshine Coast.

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With this latest double, the Vandyke stable has now produced six winners from their last ten runners at the Gold Coast with that set of results also including two runner-up finishes.
Sundus (above and below)
Sundus (above and below)
Smart Star Prince (above and below)
Smart Star Prince (above and below)
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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