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By Graham Potter | Saturday, October 29, 2022

While the centre of the David Vandyke training universe was focused on Rosehill on October 29, where Gypsy Goddess was running in the $10 million Golden Eagle and Weona Smartone was contesting the $3 million Nature Strip Stakes, the stable was also taking care of business back home and they added to their winning tally when Skins’s claimed his sixth career success when taking out an Open Handicap over 1200m at the Gold Coast.

Skins’ form had dropped off in the second half of his previous preparation, but his first-up form has always been sound (two wins and two places from four first-up starts going into this race) and so there was strong confidence about his chances when he resumed following a three month break from race action … confidence enough to see him start outright favourite at odds of $1.95.

Robbie Fradd placed Skins in third place early on, allowing the son of Sepoy to lope along a couple of lengths off the lead … a position he held all of the way to the home turn.

It was only on straightening that Fradd asked Skins to do more and, although he did quicken nicely enough, it soon became obvious that the long-time leader Tavisan was kicking very well himself, to the degree that it became a real challenge for Skins to get to him.

These two runners then became locked in battle in a tough, stride for stride fight for the honours for much of the home straight, and it was only over the final stages that Skins managed to ease himself to the front to keep favourite backers happy.

A seven-year-old chestnut, Skins is now a six time winner from only thirteen starts with a prize-money bank balance that is now closing in on $150 000.

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Skins, pictured at a previous win (above and below), was back to his best first-up at the Gold Coast
Skins, pictured at a previous win (above and below), was back to his best first-up at the Gold Coast
Photos: Darren Winningham
Photos: Darren Winningham
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