Monday, 7 May 2012
: Australian jockey Stephen Baster has been spreading himself around for rides a fair bit but finally rode his first winner for six-time Singapore champion trainer Laurie Laxon on Friday night.
| Quinta De Lago|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
The Melbourne rider has quickly established himself among the leading hoops since he commenced his six-month licence at Kranji in January, scoring 25 wins for nine different trainers, with 15 of them coming for trainers Steven Burridge (8) and Michael Freedman (7).
But though Baster has been booked quite often by Laxon of late, success has been elusive for the pairing – until $125 longshot Quinta De Lago
struck in the $75,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 1700m on Polytrack.
Laxon actually fielded three runners in that event with runaway leading jockey Joao Moreira taking the plum ride, $13 shot Forgiven
while Quinta De Lago and Maraeti
($197 shot handed to Alan Munro) were rather neglected in the market.
But at the conclusion of the 1700m race, Laxon ended up the recipient of a stable quinella which did not quite mirror the odds. Quinta De Lago and Maraeti finished one-two separated by a head after a slugging battle down the home straight while the more fancied Forgiven
could only finish fourth, denying Laxon the perfect tierce with Tarankali
(Saifudin Ismail) splitting his trio for third.
“I am not happy,” said the jocular trainer in mock indignation. “The other horse knocked me out of a trifecta.
“But jokes aside, it was a good result for the stable. We thought Forgiven
was the best of the three but he had no excuse and maybe he can beat them on another occasion.
“The winner has been a good horse for us. That is already his fourth win for us.
“Baster's riding style seems to suit him. That's Baster's first win for us.”
The jockey known as Smiley back in Melbourne is not one to shy at a few barbs of his own when the opportunity arises.
“It's my first win for Laurie. I wonder if he will give me a nice sling, a coffee maybe,” he joked.
“Laurie has been giving me a few rides but circumstances have been against us and we've had a few narrow misses, but tonight we got it right.
“This horse normally gets back but he began very well tonight and I decided to ride him a bit closer.
“In the straight, he kicked very well and was tough to the line.”
The Encosta De Lago
six-year-old followed in a one-out one-back position behind his fellow Silver Fern Racing stablemate Maraeti throughout before the pair locked horns in the home straight. Forgiven
was not quickening as expected and Maraeti seemed to have the race in his keeping until Quinta De Lago produced the supreme effort to get his head in front on the line.
The John O'Hara-trained Tarankali, who had long settled at the rear, stormed home late for third another 1 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 45.54secs.
Quinta De Lago has now chalked up four wins and five placings from 29 starts for prizemoney just a tick under the $200,000 for his connections.