Twickenham completes double with superb victory
Committee's Prize goes to gutsy seven-year-old
To win a feature race once is an achievement.
To repeat the dosage is one for the ages. Something to tuck away and reminisced whenever two or more racegoers gather for a coffee.
Last year and almost to a day, TWICKENHAM - when ridden by Vlad Duric - won the $200,000 Committee's Prize in a tight photo finish.
Yesterday at Kranji, he ran on pure adrenalin when he took home the prize by half a length.
While his trainer, Stephen Gray and his stable staff celebrated the victory, one other guy was gushing.
Apprentice CC Wong, who rode Twickenham in the 1,600m race, was over the moon. And why not?
It was his first Group race win. That, after claiming last year's apprenticeship crown.
Now, for certain, the boy had become a man.
Wong handled the horse superbly.
Out from the gates cleanly, he had a brief tussle with Laughing Gravy and Mr Fantastic before he ditched them at the top of the straight.
Bar the shouting, it looked all but over until Mr Fantastic mounted a spirited challenge.
But even as Wong sneaked a peek behind him at the 150m mark, he would have seen panic on the face of Barend Vorster, who rode the eventual runner-up.
So it was, Twickenham went to the line a great winner. And for those who remembered his heroics from last year and backed him to do the double, well, they were rewarded many times over as Twickenham paid a three-figure dividend of $167 for the win and $36 for the place.
Earlier we saw jockey S John, who took Race 1 on Friday night with Bellus Wonder, again play Master Of Ceremony when he claimed the opening event on the well-backed SMART MASTER.
John must have known he had a good horse beneath him because he was never perturbed, even when obliged to race wide for most of the trip.
It was only over the final 200m that he asked Smart Master for an effort and the four-year-old was only too willing to finish off the race.
IMMORTAL LEGACY, the mount of Michael Rodd, attempted to make a race of it but Smart Master went on to take the 1,200m sprint by a length- and-a-quarter.
Carrying plenty of stable confidence, the Alwin Tan-trained sprinter paid $15 for the win.
Punters too, seemed happy but their luck was to go pear-shaped for the next four races.
So it was, after the favourites in those races took a beating, racegoers cheered themselves hoarse when CAPTAIN JAMIE came through to deliver in Race 6.
And the fact that he paid peanuts - $8 for the win - didn't matter. They were just pleased and relieved that they weren't whipped for the fifth time.
Trained by Ricardo Le Grange and ridden by Nooresh Juglall, he was always in control over the 1,400m trip and won with tons of authority.