Powell lands victory with WOW

WOW FACTOR: Jockey J Powell atop Wow with trainer S Baertschiger (red tie) after winning Race 2 yesterday. - TNP PHOTOS: GARY GOH

The use of tongue-tie for the first time proved decisive as WOW found redemption with a commanding victory in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1,200m at Kranji yesterday.

Ridden by jockey John Powell for the first time, the New Zealand-bred gelding was in complete control of the race for juveniles to beat favourite BRAVO CHARLIE, the mount of Nooresh Juglall, by a length with SATELLITE PRINCE (Oscar Chavez) two lengths away in third. The winning time on the Short Course was 1min 10.97sec.

The O'Reilly two-year-old had struggled to make an impression at his last two starts, finishing third and then sixth in the past two months but trainer Shane Baertschiger was quick to forgive his galloper and never lost faith in the latest addition to the Auric Stable.

"He ran nicely at his first start and was a bit unlucky in the next after being stuck out wide and maybe overraced a bit," said the Australian handler. "He's a much better horse than that and once we put the tongue-tie on him he showed us some ability.

"It was also his first time on the turf after two starts on the Polytrack and I've always thought he's a much better horse on the grass."

The punters also shared his enthusiasm and Wow was well-supported just behind Bravo Charlie at $18 and the two youngsters distanced themselves from the other seven runners as they dominated proceedings from the start and turned the spectacle into a two-horse match-up.

The victory on Wow was Powell's 39th of the season and his strikerate is now well above 20 per cent..

"Johnny rode him brilliant out there," said Baertschiger, whose runners have been the beneficiaries of the heavyweight rider's winning touch on 16 occasions so far this campaign.

"Once he got him to the front he was able to dictate the pace from there and it was a very easy win in the end."