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By Graham Potter | Saturday, December 18, 2021

With a full house of two winners … McCovey Cove and Gypsy Goddess … from two starters at Eagle Farm on December 18, the David Vandyke stable added to the day’s score when Constant Flight ($4.60) took the honours in a pressurised finish in the sixth race at the Gold Coast … an Open Handicap over 1200m.

The seven-year-old was returning to action after a brief freshen up following his unplaced run at Doomben a month earlier. Going into the race there were statistics that suggested both the track and distance were favourable to Constant Flight’s cause as he had won and placed at the track in his three previous starts at the Gold Coast … and he also had won four of his previous nine starts over the 1200m trip.

Constant Flight improved on both of those figures here.

Bred Pengelly jumped him perfectly from the number one barrier draw and Constant Flight had enough early speed to hold the rail position without having to do much work.

Pengelly kept Constant Flight at a measured gallop as he led the field down the back straight and into the start of the sweep to the home turn … to some degree backing up the field at that stage so there was only a little over four lengths from first to last.

The $2.60 favourite, the top weight Axe, and the $6.50 chance Xanthus started to apply pressure to the Vandyke trained runner as the field came to the point of the home turn and then straightened and, although Constant Flight still held a narrow advantage early in the straight, it was virtually a line a three runners when the leaders started to seriously set sail for home.

Anthony Allen on Xanthus was the first rider to get vigorous in the saddle and Pengelly had to do the same inside the final 200m as Constant flight’s lead came under threat.

The son of Written Tycoon responded beautifully though, edging just that little bit further ahead, but there was still no room for error as Pengelly guided the third Vandyke trained winner on the day home over the concluding stages, ultimately withstanding a host of challengers as a margin of as little as a length covered the first four runners across the line.

Making his own running to suit himself and then showing character and fight when placed under pressure turned into a winning formula for Constant Flight, reviving his fortunes.

While it had been a long time between drinks, Constant Flight was back in the winners’ enclosure and can now boast a race record of eight wins from twenty-three starts with a more than useful $267 225 earned in prize-money.

The Vandyke stable did have one other runner at the Gold Coast on December 18 and, while they couldn’t make it two winners from two runners there as they did at Eagle Farm, they did the next best thing when Jakkalberry Finn finished second to the $17 outsider Dorset Coast in a BM65 Handicap over 1800m. It was Jakkalberry Finn’s second successive runner-up finish.

There can’t be any complaints there. Any day a stable finishes with three winner from four runners is a good day!

More articles

Constant Flight ... earned a welcome change of fortune
Constant Flight ... earned a welcome change of fortune
Jakkalberry Finn ... finished second for the second time in a row

Photos: Graham,Potter
Jakkalberry Finn ... finished second for the second time in a row

Photos: Graham,Potter
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