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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Trainer David Vandyke landed a metropolitan midweek double at Doomben on May 24 when Sneak Preview and Mintaka Lad gave the stable a hundred percent return of winners to runners on the day.

Sneak Preview, a seven-year-old son of Smart Missile, was relatively easy to back in a BM78 Handicap over 2040m (he would jump at a starting price of $6) with punters seemingly not setting much store by his runner-up finish in his previous start at Rockhampton over 1600m, but a big leap of faith by Vandyke in sending Sneak Preview over the longer trip was about to pay dividends.

Sneak Preview had not raced beyond 1615m before but, under a confident ride by Ryan Maloney, the thirty-seven race veteran never flinched.

Holding the inside line from the break, Maloney let the speed go around him as the field left the home straight for the first time, happy to hold fourth spot some four to five lengths off the lead as Applications ($4) too the field down the back stretch.

Sneak Preview still raced in midfield, with ground to make up, throughout the sweep to the home turn with Maloney yet to move a muscle, saving his mount for his effort.

Approaching the home turn, it was time to go though and Maloney now urged Sneak Preview along, swinging four wide, immediately racing into serious contention.

In the home straight, Sneak Preview’s progress was methodical at first … and then explosive when Maloney really put his foot on the accelerator with 200m left to run, at which stage Sneak Preview pulled away from his rivals in emphatic fashion to score even more easily than the official 1.38 length margin suggests.

The strong nature of the win was further franked by the fact that Sneak Preview carried no less than 7kg more than the runner-up, the $3.80 second favourite Hillcrest Avenue, who had followed Sneak Preview through at the top of the straight, but who was simply outgunned in the run to the line.

For his part, Mintaka Lad, who completed a training double for David Vandyke on the day, could not have been more impressive when taking out a Class 1 Handicap over 1200m.

The lightly raced three-year-old, a son of Deep Field, was only tasting race action for the fourth time here, but he handled it like a seasoned professional, never letting his opponents into the race as he justified his $2.90 favouritism with a resounding four length victory.

Ryan Maloney jumped Mintaka Lad in the leading line at the break and the Vandyke runner had the outright lead by the time the field had travelled 200m.

As things turned out, it was essentially ‘race over’ from there as Mintaka Lad enjoyed himself out front.

He was two lengths to the good, still under a hard hold, in the sweep to the home turn and doubled that margin with contemptuous ease in the run down the home straight to claim his second career victory in a sparkling time of 1.08.73 for the 1200m trip.

Vandyke had clearly pulled the right rein on two counts with Mintaka Lad, bringing him in distance (from 1400m to 1200m) and putting the blinkers back on. The horse still had to put in the effort to show his worth, and he did just that to produce a very pleasing result.

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Sneak Preview (above and below)
Sneak Preview (above and below)
Mintaka Lad (above and below)
Mintaka Lad (above and below)
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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