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By Graham Potter | Saturday, December 4, 2021

Trainer David Vandyke put Sanzera, an unraced chestnut filly, on the float to the Gold Coast on December 4 and the three-year-old daughter of Proisir returned to the stable as a debut winner after taking care of business in a Maiden Handicap over 1200m.

It was quite a learning experience for Sanzera who achieved that result in spite of racing ungenerously when caught three wide early, in spite of encountering traffic problems in the approach to the home turn and in spite of having her tenacity tested when asked to make her own luck.

With Noel Callow trying to take hold and settle his mount, Sanzera did go back to fifth place in the sweep to the home turn after being in the leading line early.

Although she was only a little over two lengths off the lead at that stage, Sanzera did face a problem as, at the time Callow started to rev up Sanzera to try to put her into a challenging position, the Vandyke trained runner was cramped for galloping room in-between runners and she also had a wall of horses stretched across the track in front of her.

Callow had to basically bully his way out of that predicament and Sanzera never flinched when Callow shifted her out still wider at the point of the home straight making contact with the $5 chance Tayella when trying to push her way into clear running.

After a second bump between these two runners took Sanzera’s off balance, Callow was able to straighten her up and get her balanced again before her challenge was then ‘good to go’ as she lined herself up for the chase down the home straight.

There was still plenty of work to do though.

Sanzera was still four lengths adrift of the lead at that stage. More particularly, she was two lengths behind the $2.60 favourite Prime Asset who was now beginning to close up on the leaders, an effort which carried him into the leading line just inside the 200m mark with Sanzera very much in tow, but still that two lengths in arrears.

It was only inside the last 150m that Sanzera found that extra gear and swept pass Prime Asset when it mattered most, with her momentum being such that Callow was able to stand up short of the line with a winning margin of just under a length.

Having to race in-between runners … having to draw on her fighting qualities and not shy away from getting involved in the heat of battle … being able to chase hard from off the speed … having to find race winning acceleration … as stated at the outset, this was quite a learning experience for Sanzera!

To win on debut in any circumstances is always a good result.

To have overcome the number of difficulties that Sanzera faced here, when at times it would have been just as easy to go backwards than progress forward, is a credit to both the horse and the trainer.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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