Castor makes it a one-horse race
Backing up within a short period after a debut race is not easy. More so for a juvenile.
But CASTOR not only went on to win it after running first-up only 19 days earlier, he also made it a one-horse race in the $90,000 Inglis Sydney Better Life Stakes over 1,000m on the Polytrack in Race 3 at Kranji last night.
The connections must have been pretty confident with Castor's chances by engaging apprentice Troy See in a non-claiming race and they were certainly laughing their way to the bank.
Even without the rookie's 3kg claim, Castor proved a class above his eight rivals when See steered the Australian-bred gelding to win by three and three-quarter lengths in the penultimate leg of the six-race $1 million Singapore Golden Horseshoe Series for two-year-olds.
Castor, the best bet of The New Paper tipster Mr X and also my top choice as well as Larry Foley's, started as the favourite and paid $12 for a win.
The Steven Burridge-trained I'm Kool was the first to jump but was challenged by a wall of horses.
On settling down, Castor got up to lead, covered by Irrepressible and Happy Happy on his outside.
See managed to get Castor to be the lone leader by about a length at the 600m mark.
He got his mount to lead by two lengths on straightening and four at the 200m mark, only with hands-and-heels riding.
He peeped over his right shoulder with 150m left and, although he knew he had the race in his bag, he did not want to take any chances.
He gave his mount a few light taps of the whip to beat third-start runner I'm Kool, who beat the third horse, newcomer Wonderful Era, by another three and three-quarter lengths.
Castor clocked below one minute for the 1,000m dash - 59.39sec.
Being an Australian-bred sired and sold at a public auction through Inglis or Magic Millions as a yearling, he earned a $30,000 bonus for IB Racing Stable.
With his cut from the winner's purse, the bay gelding has amassed about $80,000, close to his purchase price of A$80,000 ($93,500).
Castor made his bow on April 20 and finished a well-beaten sixth, nine and a half lengths behind Affleck in the third leg of the series over 1,200m.
Trainer David Kok said Castor was not used to the turf track that day and it was a rushed preparation.
He will press forward for the final leg of the series in seven days' time - the $325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m.
"He won in a pretty fast time, especially with 57kg, so I think it should be no problem next week. We have to try."
Blinkers sharpen up Castor
The addition of blinkers did the trick for Inglis Sydney Better Life Stakes winner CASTOR, said winning rider Troy See.
In his debut on April 20, the David Kok-trained two-year-old finished sixth to Affleck without the gear.
But, with the blinkers to perk him up, Castor jumped beautifully and led practically all the way.
In the straight, where he had kicked to a two-length lead, it was just a question of how much he would beat his eight juvenile rivals.
He eventually won by three and three-quarter lengths from I'm Kool in a fairly good time of 59.39sec for 1,000m on the Polytrack.
"I think the blinkers sharpened him up tonight. He was a lot faster out of the gates," said See.
"We also learned from our mistakes. At his first run, we held him in the gates, and he sat back before jumping.
"This time, we held his tail and he sat up and bounced out really quickly. He just galloped along at a good speed and was never going to get caught."
An elated Kok said he would run Castor in the $325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m - the final leg of the six-race $1 million Singapore Golden Horseshoe Series - in a week's time.
"I would definitely look forward to it if he is in," said See, who went on to complete a double on the Sam Chua-trained BLACK BEAN in Race 5.
Black Bean was well ridden by See.
The rising apprentice secured a soft lead from after jumping from the second-widest barrier.
He dropped anchor midway to slow down the pace and set his mount kicking strongly again in the straight to win by a length from Can't Touch Me in the Class 5 event over 1,600m on the Polytrack.
Black Bean, the second leg of a four-bagger for trainer Sam Chua, paid $31 for a win.
Chua took the opening race with JET COSMO (Vagner Leal), an emergency acceptor who secured a berth following a scratching, Race 8 with last-to-first $372 outsider HEAR ME (apprentice Peter Dellorto) and rounded up with ACCOMPLISHED (John Sundradas) in Race 9.