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By Graham Potter | Thursday, March 23, 2023

Patience, as ever, is a virtue in racing and trainer David Vandyke got an early reward for the patience he had shown when bringing the New Zealand bred Sacred Mission along in the formative stages of his career as a racehorse, when the three-year-old son of Sacred Falls (he did not race as a two-year-old) saluted on debut in a Maiden Plate over 1350m at Ipswich on March 23 ... but it was oh so close!

Sacred Mission (the $2.80 favourite) was well enough away at the break but then went back to settle into sixth and then fifth place as the field went down the back straight.

Although always saving ground after jumping from the number two barrier stall, Sacred Mission was still all of six lengths off the lead halfway through the sweep to the home turn with his market rival Chicane racing just to his outside.

That deficit was down to four lengths on straightening, but Jim Byrne had Sacred Mission under a hard ride with still plenty of work to do at that stage.

With Chicane losing his way on the turn, that threat to Sacred Mission was gone, but there remained the no small matter of trying to reel in those runners ahead of him.

With Sacred Mission responding to Byrne’s urgings, the Vandyke trained runner accelerated with meaning, taking a gap between two runners, to surge into the lead inside the final 150m, but, at the same time, The Khan ($16) and National Interest ($5.50) were both flying up late in rousing style and, ultimately, the post came just in time for Sacred Mission to claim victory by a fast diminishing, narrow, 0.10 length margin.

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Jim Byrne ... he earned his percentage aboard Sacred Mission

Photo: Graham Potter
Jim Byrne ... he earned his percentage aboard Sacred Mission

Photo: Graham Potter
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