Cavallo storms to easy victory
Trainer Alwin Tan's 7YO ends a long drought
Under-rated sprinter CAVALLO, who has been running good races without winning for some time, finally greeted the judge again - thanks to a fast pace and an unimpeded run.
The money was on last-minute favourite Royal Ruler ($16) and five-in-a-row star Wonderful ($17) and rightly so. But both seemed to struggle in the midfield pack and finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the day's main event, the $100,000 Open Benchmark 97 race over the Polytrack 1,100m.
Trained by reigning champion Alwin Tan, Cavallo, who only a run previous finished a smack-up fifth to stablemate Infantry in the Group 2 Merlion Trophy over the Poly 1,200m, had only two horses on his outside when the race started.
Sebas led but was joined by Secret Mission at the 650m mark. They were chased by Royal Ruler's stablemates The General and The Nutcracker.
The order was the same on straightening. Cavallo, who had some support and went off at $45 for a win, made up some ground and went very wide for an unimpeded run.
Responding to John's riding, the seven-year-old New Zealand-bred went whoosh to the front 250m out and quickly put his rivals out of their misery.
The fast pace enabled Cavallo to clock 1min 04.45sec, just 0.18sec outside Easy Man's record in 2013.
It was the brown gelding's 10th win in 54 starts and he broke a losing sequence of 21. His last win was on May 3, 2015.
He has now brought his earnings to about $870,000.
"I think his form is quite consistent and I think today the fast pace suited him and John did a good job," said trainer Tan, who also saddled RICH FORTUNE to take Race 6.
"Today, I told John he just needed to go to the outside. Last run, he was stuck on the inside and never had the chance to come out. In the last 200m, he just flew home."
Tan had originally earmarked Cavallo for the $200,000 Group 3 Rocket Man Sprint over 1,200m on Sunday but now has changed his mind.
"In fact, I was thinking of running him in the Rocket Man Sprint but it looks like he has to take a break," said the Singaporean handler.
John has now ridden Cavallo to his last six successes.
"Yeah, he has got a good association with me. He always gets back and, with the fast pace, he got all the run on the outside today," said the jockey.