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By Graham Potter | Friday, December 3, 2021

The three-year-old New Zealand bred, David Vandyke trained gelding Colleagues made no mistake when claiming his first career success in decisive fashion in a Maiden Handicap over 1680m on a heavy track at Ipswich on December 3, 2021.

The son of Reliable Man was second-up in only his third career start. He debuted back in August when sent straight to town in a Maiden Handicap over 1200m but, after finishing unplaced there, Colleagues was then spelled and returned exactly three months later on November 10 to take on Class 1 company over 1350m on soft going at Ipswich where, although unplaced again, he did catch the eye when finishing only 1.70 lengths behind Sienna’s Award, who would frank that form by winning again next time out.

The third start would prove the breakthrough one for Colleagues who started as an outright favourite at $1.50.

Back in class to a Maiden Handicap and up in distance to 1680m … the plan all came together for Colleagues in a trouble-free race for the Vandyke trained winner who triumphed by a clear-cut 2.80 length margin.

Ryan Maloney pushed Colleagues out from the break before being happy to settle the gelding in fourth and then fifth spot some three to four lengths off the lead as the $31 chance Harryup took the field down the back straight and into the sweep to the home turn.

With 400m left to run, Maloney had waited long enough and he started to push Colleagues out, making good ground out wider on the track until straightening, four wide, in the leading line with a clear run home beckoning him.

Colleagues continued his run with meaning in the home straight, quickly opening up a winning lead and enough of a buffer, well before the winning post, to allow Maloney to bring Colleagues home under a gentle ride over the closing stages where the gelding had nothing left to prove with the job already well and truly done.

The $5.50 favourite Kittykittybangbang finished second without ever looking likely to trouble the winner with the 5.60 length margin between Colleagues and the third placed Artic Dasher underlining the absolute superiority Colleagues enjoyed over his rivals on the day.

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