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By Graham Potter | Saturday, August 6, 2022

It is fair to say that a horse from the David Vandyke stable seldom starts at double figure odds … as Bargannon did in a BM68 Handicap over 1350m at Doomben on August 6 … but, in fact, in this case those odds arguably showed a measure of respect for the stable given that Bargannon had last saluted as far back on October 26, 2019 and was now competing as an eight-year-old.

A warning of sorts had been posted in Bargannon’s last run though when he finished second in the McLean Cup over 1400m during the Grafton Carnival. He had been ridden by Jag Guthmann-Chester on that occasion and Vandyke kept faith with Guthmann-Chester for the Doomben contest.

Bargannon landed in the leading line before settling in fifth spot, one out, just two lengths off the lead early on. Bargannon still held fifth position in the sweep to the home turn, but was now four lengths back as Guthmann-Chester continued to bide his time before starting to get more vigorous approaching the home turn.

Bargannon was momentarily left a little bit flat-footed at the top of the straight, but he quickly settled back into a competitive gallop in the early part of the straight.
Still with four to five lengths to make up and with challenges coming from all around, the pressure was really on mid-straight, but Bargannon appeared to be lapping it up.

With 200m left to run Bargannon still had to get past five horses and was racing fairly tight inbetween runners, which might have intimidated a less experience horse … but the seasoned Bargannon just kept fighting on … and fighting on strongly.

Suddenly Bargannon was right in contention.

It was always going to get close in a very busy finish … so close in fact that the race commentator did not think Bargannon had got up … and you couldn't really blame him, it was that close ... but the photo-finish told a different story as the Vandyke trained runner got his nose in front when it mattered most.

A narrow victory to be sure … but it was a very welcome victory for Bargannon nevertheless … with this eighth win of his career taking his stake-earnings past the quarter-of-a-million dollar mark.

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Photos: Darren Winningham
Photos: Darren Winningham
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