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By Graham Potter | Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Gold Coast is fast becoming a very happy hunting ground for the David Vandyke racing stable.

When Tolkowsky landed a BM85 event over 1200m on October 23, it was the stable’s fourth win from six runners at the Gold Coast since September 18, in a hot spot form period with four individual runners, Weona Smartone, Sundus, Smart Star Prince and Tolkowsky doing the honours.

Tolkolsky, a four-year-old Snitzel gelding, was having his second start in his second preparation for the Vandyke stable. His first preparation comprised three starts in which Tolkowsky finished runner-up in his opening run for David Vandyke, then fourth, second-up, and lastly a sixth place finish – all in Class 1 company - as Vandyke tested Tolkolsky’s distance prowess, progressively raising that level from 1200m to 1350m to 1400 over the three starts.

While not winning, it is worth noting that Tolkowsky never finished further back than two lengths (and that was in the runner-up finish) in any of those three starts.

Tolkowsky was then given a one-month break from race action (from September 5 to October 7) during which time Tolkowsky did come out and win a trial over 850m at the Sunshine Coast. He then resumed at Ipswich over 1350m in a Class 1 race where he had to settle for fourth place before he headed to the Gold Coast assignment on October 23.

That Gold Coast run, this time in a BM85 contest, took place on a Heavy 8 track over 1200m and, whether it was the softer racing surface or the heightened fitness second-up … it is likely both of these factors played their part … Tolkowsky ($6) thrived like never before, flashing home under a very confident ride by Jag Guthmann-Chester to win going away by a clear-cut two-length margin.

Tolkowsky landed in an absolute midfield position early, racing in fifth place some four to five lengths off the leader, the John Moore trained $1.75 favourite Private Cheetah, all the way until the turn where Tolkowsky cornered four wide, still left with significant ground to make up.

At the 250m mark Tolkowsky really started to stretch out with meaning, but he was still four lengths adrift of the lead. The fact that he managed to turn that four length deficit into a two length victory underlines just how strongly he ran home over the final 200m … and the fact he did that under a ride by Guthmann-Chester that was more kind than vigorous (he actually had the luxury of being able to ease Tolkowsky up in the final few strides) made the manner in which victory was achieved even more impressive.

Overall, the very lightly raced Tolkolsky, who won on debut for James Cummings at Sale back on June 10, 2020 (he only had two starts for Cummings), now boasts a race record of two wins and one second place from only seven starts.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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