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By Graham Potter | Friday, July 29, 2022

Going into a BM65 Handicap over 1660m at Ipswich on July 29, the five-year-old bay mare Wheels had competed more trials than races over the preceding twelve months.

Seven trials and only five races during that period of time underlined the careful, considered preparation of the daughter of Shocking by trainer David Vandyke.

In fact, this Ipswich run was only the seventh career start by Wheels (a five-year-old remember) further underling the patient handling of Wheels by the stable … and that duty of care was well rewarded at Ipswich when Wheels pounced to claim her third career victory.

While Wheels, who was easy to back at $10, was splendid, the ride of Michael Cahill was superb and has to be acknowledged a big contributing factor to the victory.

Wheels was cut out at the start which left her trailing towards the rear of the field as she found herself second last, all of eight lengths off the lead.

As the field took the sweep to the home turn, Wheels was now in last place, still five lengths back but the field was now starting to bunch up which was a double-edged sword for the Vandyke trained runner.

On the one hand it was bringing her closer to the action. On the other hand, the traffic congestion ahead of her was starting to pose a problem.

But Cahill merely waited on the rail, avoiding the temptation to make any rash decision, and that patience was about to pay off big time.

Firstly, Cahill had Wheels saving ground which was vital to the outcome. Wheels was already up to fifth on straightening and when a clear run was offered hard up along the inside running rail, Wheels and Cahill needed no second asking.

Having been allowed to relax early, instead of being chased, Wheels was now full of running and she accelerated beautifully when asked to do so and she very quickly moved up to challenge for the lead, before claiming the ascendency when it mattered most, hotting the line strongly to see off the persistent effort of the $16 chance Crockett, who was the only runner able to stay close to her in the final chase to the line.

Full marks to David Vandyke in turning the horse out ready to compete in such a telling fashion, to Michael Cahill for a gem of a ride and, of course, to Wheels herself, without whose cooperation this win would not have been possible.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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