Racing

All in a day's work for Webster

Back from knee surgery, trainer Daniel Meagher's runner stuns them all to pay $182

Nothing pointed to Webster winning on Sunday.

His jockey, Chin Chee Seng, said he was a "tricky horse to ride" as he had a tendency to pull.

His trainer, Daniel Meagher, said he thought the horse wasn't 100 per cent and that he would have been happy if Webster "filled the minor placings".

Punters gave him a wide berth - sending him off as a $182 roughie.

And, if Webster could speak, he could probably have said: "Give me a break. I just had an operation on my knee."

But funny things happen in this game and, on a bright Sunday evening, Webster did what racehorses are bred to do.

He went out and beat them all.

Not seen on the racetrack for the better part of eight months, when he ran sixth to Rafaello in a Class 2 race over the 1,200m, Webster stunned us all , picking up the winning cheque in that $85,000 Kranji Stakes B race over the Polytrack 1,100m.

It wasn't going to be an easy contest. There was Augustano, Sir Isaac and Darc Bounty in the line-up and his trainer seemed right in believing he would run a place - at best.

But no one bothered to share those sentiments with Webster, who had other plans.

So it was, he ran his race and what a race it turned out to be.

Tracking the race leaders, Yulong Xiongyin and Augustano for most of the trip, he was still third with 300m to travel. Then a yawning gap had opened near the rails when Yulong Xiongyin drifted out.

Chin saw his chance. He asked Webster for an effort and the son of Showcasing forgot that he was running on legs that had just had surgery.

He took the passage, saw daylight and, from then on, the pack were left chasing shadows.

The winning post loomed and Webster had his fifth career success. He had beaten Autumn Rush by 1/2 length. Augustano had to settle for third.

Chin had his first win as a senior rider, Meagher had bragging rights and his owners - the Mackies - had yet another reason to enjoy the sport.

"All credit to my staff for that win. This horse just came back from a knee operation," said Meagher.

"Graham and Trish (wife) are great to train for as they let me do what I want. Two months ago, I was not really happy with the horse, but he has come back good again.

"I thought he was not fully ready but Chin rode him perfect. He gave him a beautiful economical run, gave him no pressure at all during the race."

The Malaysian jockey said Webster was no easy commodity to work with. But, on his day, he can strike, especially first-up.

"This horse runs well fresh-up, but I still didn't expect him to win. I thought he would run a good race, that's it," said Chin.

As for Webster, win some, lose some, it was all in a day's work.

HORSE RACING