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By Graham Potter | Friday, June 16, 2023

The David Vandyke trained Colleagues, a lightly raced four-year-old gelding, landed the second win of his career in his ninth start when he took out a Class 1 Handicap over 1800m at the Sunshine Coast on June 16.

The son of Reliable Man was having his fourth start in his latest preparation and, as is often the case with a Vandyke trained runner, he had been building up steadily to being primed to win, having raced over 1200m first-up (after a lengthy ten month layoff), then 1400m second-up before Vandyke further extended the distance test to 1800m third-up with Colleagues giving notice of his improvement with a runner-up finish in that race.

Vandyke sent Colleagues over the same track and distance … and on the same going (a soft 6) … in this latest start.

Jumping as the $2.15 favourite, Kyle Wilson-Taylor immediately put Colleagues in prime position, settled third, then fourth holding the rail position just a little over two lengths off the leader in the early part.

Colleagues was back up to third and holding his ground coming through the 1000m.

Wilson-Taylor then shifted him one off the rail approaching the home turn and Colleagues effortlessly gliding through the gap between the two early leaders to hit the front shortly after straightening.

Wilson-Taylor hardly moved on Colleagues as he gradually extended his lead in the first half of the straight before getting slightly more vigorous in the saddle briefly coming through the 200m mark but, with the race never being a serious contest in the home straight … Wilson-Taylor had a cheeky look over his shoulder 150m out … Wilson-Taylor was then able to push his mount out hands and heels only as he allowed Colleagues to cruise to the line for the simplest of victories, which ultimately went into the record books as being achieved by an untroubled 3.30 length margin.

The Vandyke stable has been all over the result in recent times.

In the last two meetings where they have had runners (June 14 and June 16), the stable scoreboard reads two winners (Landsborough Lad and Colleagues), two second placings (On Hold and Blue Merle) and two third placings (Amity Gal and Banana Slide) from six runners.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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