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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Patience is a virtue in racing. It costs nothing and can bring huge rewards … both in terms of the business bottom-line and the emotional satisfaction.

For trainer David Vandyke, patience has long been a big part of his armoury … the latest example of that being his efforts with the six-year-old gelding Sneak Preview who won his first start for the stable when taking out a BM78 over 1100m on the Poly Track at the Sunshine Coast on May 18.

Sneak Preview did come to Vandyke as a six-time winner from twenty fours starts for three different trainers … certainly a fair enough record, but, before the May 18 win, you had to go back to July 2021 to find the last time Sneak Preview had seen race action … meaning that there was a race fitness question that Vandyke had to answer correctly to get a winning result.

To that end, Vandyke trialled Sneak Preview three times over a three-month period from February 8 to May 3 by which time he was happy that Sneak Preview was ready to go. Still, he jumped at a starting price of $6 … generous odds from bookmakers on a Vandyke trained runner for a change as they really like to keep the stable’s runners safe … although that price was exaggerated by the presence of a $1.60 favourite Better Get Set who had won, finished second three times and third once in her last five starts.

Ryan Maloney dropped Sneak Preview out to second last, some seven lengths off the leader early on. With Maloney switching Sneak Preview out wide for a run in the straight, Sneak Preview still had a deficit of five lengths to make up on straightening, while, at the same time, Better Get Set, who had been tucked in just off the speed throughout and who had hugged the rail on the turn, was now set about her business hard up along the inside.

Both of these runners still had to get to the $19 outsider Bombasay though, who had kicked clear at the top of the straight. Better Get Set was the first to get there but that produced a pivotal moment in the race at the 150m mark, when Bombasay, who was hanging in under pressure, forced Wilson-Taylor to take hold of Better Get Set for a stride-and-half, as the gap momentarily closed on the rail.

It was going to cost him.

All the while, Ryan Maloney had Sneak Preview slowly but surely making up ground down the centre of the track.

At the 300m mark Sneak Preview still had ten horses in front of him and was six lengths adrift of the result. By the 100m there were still five horses to pass, but here was only just under three lengths to make up.

The momentum was now all with Sneak Preview but, even with 50m left to run nothing was assured as Better Get Set was now once again in full cry and Bombasay was kicking on gamely.

Sneak Preview wasn’t going to be denied though and, in what turned out to be an inch perfect riide by Maloney, the son of Smart Missile got the job done with 0.20 lengths to spare over the duelling Better Get Set (who finished second) and Bombasay (third) who only had a neck between them at the line.

Earlier in the day, the David Vandyke trained Landsborough Lad scored a second successive runner-up finish when only just cut down in the final strides in a Maiden Handicap over 1400m.

Those results have come in his only two starts since he returned from a long injury and rehabilitation enforced layoff … so they have got to be a very pleasing outcome for a horse slowly finding his feet and way back into the game which is absolutely understandable considering what the four-year-old son of Headwater has been through coupled with the fact that he is very short on race experience having only contested three races to date.

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Enjoying a hard earned victory
Enjoying a hard earned victory
Sneak Preview comes from behind to steal the chocolates
Sneak Preview comes from behind to steal the chocolates
Landsbourough Lad ... ever so game in another runner-up finish

Photos: Graham Potter
Landsbourough Lad ... ever so game in another runner-up finish

Photos: Graham Potter
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