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By Graham Potter | Saturday, July 22, 2023

While it was a hugely satisfying result, when the David Vandyke trained Orbisyn claimed his first success in eight months at Ipswich on June 30 it was an open question of exactly where his career stood at that time.

For a horse who had kicked off his career with four straight wins, all achieved in an emphatic enough fashion to see him listed in the betting for both The Everest and the Golden Eagle betting markets of that year (2021) before a series of setbacks all but brought the significant momentum he had built up to a halt … that Ipswich win was very important.

The pending question after that was could Orbisyn go on with it.

The answer to that came three weeks later when Orbisyn lined up in a Colts, Geldings and Entires No Metro Win Handicap over 1110m at Doomben on July 22.

Starting at $6, Orbisyn was lumped with the top weight of 59.5kg … meaning he had to give all of his rivals a fair amount of weight (from 3.5kg to 6.5kg) and Vandyke handed the task of implementing the race strategy out on the track to heavyweight jockey Paul Hamblin.

Hamblin had only ridden Orbisyn on one previous occasion … in similar circumstances in which the son of Rich Enuff had to shoulder the steadying burden on 60.5kg … and the duo came out of that one with a victory.

Barrier draw eleven out of twelve wasn’t going to do Orbisyn any favours, but Hamblin immediately took any stress out of that situation by pushing Orbisyn forward in measured fashion from the wide gate, and staying with that forward push until Orbisyn had reached the lead after the field had travelled 300m.

Once in front, Hamblin focused on rating Orbisyn well enough to have something left to come in the home straight … and ultimately Orbisyn would benefit from the slight rest he was afforded mid-race in what was to become a very close call in the finish.

Orbisyn was still very much in command in the first half of the straight and was a good two lengths to the good coming through the 200m mark, but the weight advantage amongst the chasers did start to kick in late.

That charge was led by $13 chance Thelwell who, with a 5.5kg favourable pull at the weights, made up ground on the Vandyke trained runner over the final 100m, to the degree that, if Orbisyn’s focus and commitment had even faltered slightly in those vital concluding stages, the result would have been different.

As it was, Orbisyn’s ability kicked in and it was well and truly backed up by his commitment to the cause … and he did indeed earn a quality, second successive win, albeit by a narrow and fast diminishing margin.

The good-looking five-year-old chestnut is now no less than a seven-time winner from only fifteen starts (at a massive 46.6 percent winning strike-rate) … and his now confirmed revival as a competitive force with those back-to-back wins stands as a credit to both the expertise of trainer David Vandyke and the patience of owner Jan McMillan.

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Photos: Darren Winningham
Photos: Darren Winningham
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