Webster can go far
Trainer Daniel Meagher's 3YO scores second-up with authority
Three-year-old WEBSTER showed first-up four weeks ago when second that he was a horse with potential.
Then a $181 outsider, the Daniel Meagher-trained New Zealand-bred sporting top galloper Spalato's green-and-silver colours of Christopher G Stable ran on strongly after being checked to finish three parts of a length behind Chopin's Fantaisie, a newbie touted to have a bright future.
However, it was not really surprising that Webster did not open as the favourite in last night's Restricted Maiden event over 1,200m on turf in Race 2.
The money went to the more experiened Ricardo Le Grange-trained Super Tycoon. But, close to start time, there was a big crunch on Webster, who ended up as the $14 favourite.
Well, smart money seldom lies and Webster duly obliged with an impressive victory although he still looked a bit green in the dash to the post.
In fact, Webster's chances were enhanced as Chopin's Fantaisie's form was franked a race earlier when Class 5 runner OPTIMUM STAR, who ran a creditable fifth to Chopin's Fantaisie, scored by one-and-a-half lengths over the Polytrack 1,100m. Webster was more dominant that day and the money was certainly spot-on.
In Race 6, SPEEDY PHOENIX, fourth to Chopin's Fantaisie, also won second-up with a strong charge under apprentice Y Salim to end a five-month drought for trainer David Kok.
The Michael Clements-trained Chopin's Fantaisie, who has improved, is the likely favourite in the Novice event over 1,400m in Race 8 tomorrow.
He's definitely got ability and I think he will get better over more ground.Jockey Manoel Nunes, on Webster
Last night, Elite Gold was the first to jump on barrier rise but Webster pulled up quickly to be two lengths clear. Champion jockey Manoel Nunes deftly dropped anchor to slow down the tempo as well as to save up for the long run home.
Super Tycoon, who eased to be $15 second-favourite, charged up to eyeball Webster and then popped slightly ahead. Elite Gold, who raced ungenerously, and two-time trial-winning newcomer Why Not followed about two lengths behind.
The two leaders were nicely clear on straightening but Webster gave a strong kick from the 350m mark when Nunes got serious. Although he drifted in a wee bit after being whipped, Webster ran on beautifully to win in a good time of 1min 10.41sec.
The Odds produced a good run late to finish second, one-and-a-quarter lengths behind.
The race also saw former two-time Horse of the Year Super Easy's first progeny at Kranji making his debut. Top Banana, however, beat only one home.