Racing

Mr Fantastic wins with pull in weight

Trainer Le Grange's trio finish first, second and fourth

Trainer Ricardo Le Grange saddled the quinella in the $125,000 Mr Big 2011 Stakes, after MR FANTASTIC and Majestic Moments finished in that order in the Kranji Stakes A event over 1,400m at Kranji on Sunday.

Of the two, Mr Fantastic (Barend Vorster) was the one who benefited from a cosier run in the box-seat behind noted frontrunner White Hunter (A'Isisuhairi Kasim), while Majestic Moments (Nooresh Juglall), who was resuming since his unplaced run in the Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2,200m) last November, was fifth in a one-off berth, but travelling comfortably.

But, at the 300m marker, you would be hard-pressed to split the Le Grange duo as they both looked full of running when they broke away from the rest for that "brotherly" showdown.

For a fleeting moment, Majestic Moments seemed to have the upswing on the outside and would at any moment outsprint his stablemate for that perfect comeback,.

But the 4.5kg pull in weight - and probably the lack of racing fitness - eventually told as he shortened up inside the last 100m.

Mr Fantastic ($37) could not have asked for more as he got his chance to forge ahead to a half-a-length win from his brave stable companion.

The favourite Hip Hip Hooray (Manoel Nunes) was always in a winnable position but could not quite quicken up when called upon to settle for third place, a length away.

The winning time was 1min 22.54sec for the 1,400m on the Long Course C.

Another Le Grange-trained runner, Emperor's Banquet (Vlad Duric), who was also on the comeback trail, finished fourth.

SEVENTH HEAVEN

The trainer was in seventh heaven at the winner's box.

He said that at his last start, Juglall never moved on Mr Fantastic "as he was pent up on the fence, but he had all the right breaks today, and deserved to win a race".

Added the first-season trainer: "Majestic Moments looked like he would beat Mr Fantastic, but just got tired in the end and will definitely come on from that run.

"He had chips removed and things are looking good for him again.

"Emperor's Banquet, who had two screws refitted after a condylar fracture, ran very well too. He ran out of his skin.

"The goal today was to see them come back sound, and a big thank you to Mark Yong for his patience."

Vorster, who had not secured a win since Spur Me On on July 7, was delighted he was aboard the winning third of Le Grange's three-pronged attack.

"Not many things went right for him at his last start, but it was just right today," said the South African jockey.

"The pace was too hard and that suited him, I just had to bide my time.

"I know Majestic Moments is such a good horse, but I know my horse well, too, and I know he will keep going.

"It's great to get another winner today as it's been a bit quiet for me."

With that seventh win from 29 starts, Mr Fantastic has now brought his stakes earnings past the $440,000 mark for Yong's Avengers Stable.

Racing