Queen's Seven a lucky card for the Davids
South African jockey Derreck David wanted to ride at least one winner as a nice send-off present for his parents before they fly back home next Thursday – and his wish was granted with a win from Queen’s Seven in the Lucky Last on Friday night.
David still has three rides on Sunday, but had all along made the Hideyuki Takaoka-trained Japanese-bred six-year-old by Fasliyev one of his best chances for the weekend, his see-sawing performances notwithstanding.
He also thought the other Takaoka, Golazo, was another live hope in Race 5, but he was too far back, running on late to run seventh to Splice.
“Queen’s Seven has been an unlucky horse for me. He’s an in-and-out horse and I’ve not been able to catch him on a good day,” he said.
“The plan was to jump well from barrier No 1 and not be too far back. He pinged the gates and I was able to hold a good spot.
“When the gap came at the top of the straight, he quickened really well for an impressive win.
“I was confident he would run well tonight, especially from the good barrier and with the light weight (50kgs) but I didn’t think he would win like that as he’s been a bit inconsistent at times.
“It’s great to ride a winner in front of my dad and mum. They brought me luck as I tend to win when they come to the races.”
Eblan and Elaine David were indeed on hand to proudly lead in their son to his 10th win for the year. The couple from Johannesburg have flown in to look after their newly-born grand-daughter Mila.
“Nothing like a winner to get some confidence back up,” said Eblan David. “Derreck was a bit down he had no winner the whole night, but he’s got one in the last race and that’s what matters.”
Takaoka said Queen's Seven was not a very reliable horse, but is not without a say when things go his way.
“I thought he had a good chance. He was in good condition,” said the Japanese handler.
“I think the low handicap and barrier No 1 helped him – and Derreck knows him well and rode him perfectly.
“Things went right for him tonight, and he’s scored a nice win.”
At the 200m, Queen’s Seven ($25) looked like he would gap his rivals, but second favourite Lim's Elusive (Glen Boss) put some indent into the margin to reduce it to 2 ¾ lengths on the line. Spring Thunder (Chan Wei Sheng) finished third another 1 ½ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 22.29secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.
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Six furlongs is not really Lim’s Cruiser’s cup of tea, but punters still liked the resuming miler’s chances for a first-up win in the $200,000 Group 3 Rocket Man Sprint (1200m) – and they proved to be right on the money.