Monday, 16 July 2012
: Despite his hefty impost, Meteor Mike made a one-act affair of the $95,000 Open Benchmark 83 Stakes over 1400m on Friday night.
| Meteor Mike|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
Carrying the steadier of 59kg, Meteor Mike
always had control of the race from the time the gates opened.
Ridden by Jose Verenzuela, Meteor Mike was throttled right down in the concluding stages to win by a length over Getreel
(Tan Wei Li) with Valevole
(Barend Vorster) a neck away third.
Meteor Mike began smartly but Verenzuela allowed Vorster on Valevole to go forward and cross to the front before going up and sitting at his girth on settling down.
The pair raced clear from Fat King
(Greg Cheyne) and Getreel by the time the hometurn was reached. They settled down for a fight before Meteor Mike took a clear lead with 300m to run.
Over the final 100m Verenzuela was having a sustained look at the infield screen and noticing he was well in front allowed Meteor Mike to coast to the line.
Trainer David Hill was a little dismayed with the tactics of Verenzuela as he described Meteor Mike as a “lazy horse” but was naturally delighted with the victory.
“He never does more than he has to,” said Hill of Meteor Mike. “He's a horse with lots of ability and when he thinks his job is over he switches off.”
Meteor Mike was having his first outing since finishing third behind Speedy Cat
over 1400m in Class 2 company on May 20 and Hill said he had been having difficulty finding a suitable race.
“He's a turf horse,” said Hill. “There is not much point racing him on the Polytrack.
“I was having trouble finding a suitable race since his last run. Luckily we found this one for him and he was nice a fresh for the race.
“We just kept him ticking over since his last run and hopefully there will be another suitable race coming up for him soon.”
Verenzuela said the solid pace played into his hard but he was mindful of not wanting to get to the front too soon.
“He had 59kg and I was lucky that I had Vorster dictate the pace for me,” said Verenzuela.
“I was happy to sit up on his outside and let him to all the work. The horse relaxed very well in the race but I didn't want to get to the front too early.
“In the end he did it very comfortably. He did all the work and I was just the passenger.”
A South African-bred, Meteor Mike is a five-year-old gelding by Mogok from the Spaceship mare Moondust
and landed his fourth win from 20 starts for Newbury Racing and took his prizemoney to around $285,000.