Monday, 4 July 2011
: Trainer Mark Walker had a good day at the office on Sunday when he saddled a race-to-race double with Iro Otoko and El Perigo.
| Iro Otoko|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
The New Zealander could not have hoped for a better prelude leading up to the debut of the much-hyped Kiwi galloper Coup Align
in the next race. But the treble did not eventuate as Coup Align
, who was once a KrisFlyer International Sprint nomination, weakened after showing the way to run fifth to Dictator. Iro Otoko
, who was formerly prepared by ex-Kranji trainer John Meagher, owed his grinding victory to jockey Barend Vorster, who was well inspired to make an early move at the 800m to go all the way in the $55,000 Open Benchmark 61 race over 1900m.
The Ustinov four-year-old whipped around on the outside as early leader Trigger Insight (Ronnie Stewart) tried to slow up the tempo midlfield. In big giant strides, the strapping galloper took the lead at the 800m but was immediately shadowed by Quinta De Lago (Saimee Jumaat) on his outside.
Vorster kept his one-paced mount galloping along on a free rein before asking for the ultimate effort inside the last 300m. Quinta De Lago levelled up at the 200m but soon dropped off leaving Saddlers Creek (Vlad Duric) and Trigger Insight to have a last crack at Iro Otoko.
It was to no avail as Iro Otoko ($30), well ridden by Vorster, fell in by half-a-length from Saddlers Creek with Trigger Insight third another 2 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 59.97secs.
“A good and intelligent ride from Barend won the race,” said Walker. “He did the right thing to get him going from the 800m as he's a one-paced horse.
“He was in good condition and I was expecting a good run from him. I might back him up in a 2400m race next Friday – I'll see how he pulls up.”
Vorster, who was also at the double having earlier scored aboard Swagger for main supporter Patrick Shaw, was delighted he had ridden a winner for Walker.
“I don't ride often for Mark but he's been giving a few nice rides recently. I won on Village for him before,” said the South African jockey.
“He did a great job with this horse. He told me he's one-paced and to just try and keep him going.
“He was going a bit hard early and when he tried to ease up on me I went 'nah' I'll let him go.
“Saimee's horse came around me, but I wasn't really worried as my horse was still going well.
“I didn't panic and when I asked the question he just kept going. Nice ride.”
Walker's second winner, the Newbury Stable-owned El Perigo
also owed his victory to a nice ride from comeback jockey Sean Cormack. The South African scored his first win from a three-month suspension when he rode Nero Grotto to victory last Friday.
After trucking up behind main threat Who Told The Wife (Olivier Placais), El Perigo, the $13 favourite, swung round the home turn in a striking position. The pair locked horns inside the last 300m to stage a ding-dong battle which eventually saw Walker's horse getting the upperhand of Who Told The Wife by a neck.
“I had him a bit closer today. I wanted to follow Olivier's horse who to me was the horse to beat.
“I know he can go off at a relentless gallop and I wanted to get on terms with him early.
“When he got a length on me, I was a bit worried. It took me a while to catch him.
“But I guess the fact that I had the run of the race told in the end.
“It's nice to win for Dennis (Evans of Newbury Stable) as it's his birthday today.”
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