Racing

Lerner off to a great start

Frenchman scores on his first ride of the 2019 season

Not many jockeys will admit it, but Frenchman Marc Lerner did just that.

He said, after Letitgo had won for him on Tuesday afternoon that, the horse did everything.

"When the other horse (Panache) came up down the back, I told myself I wouldn't fight with him. In the straight, Letitgo went through his gears and proved too good."

Trainer Daniel Meagher was more generous. He praised Lerner for a "great ride" and promised that he would try and support him with more rides this season.

"Letitgo has never been an easy horse to ride," said Meagher. "We had a good discussion before the race and it's all worked out well.

"He's a lazy horse and he was lazy in his work a couple of weeks ago.

"We gave him a trial last week just to switch him on. It worked."

But Meagher had praise for his charge. "He's won on both turf and Polytrack, and whatever race is available for him, we'll take it."

As for Lerner, the win on Letitgo erased any bad vibes he had since arriving here. He said: "This is definitely a better start than the one I had in September".

And he was right. The former German-based rider did not enjoy the best of starts to his Kranji stint.

A handful of suspensions marred his early days, while the winning post proved elusive until he finally broke the hoodoo with Moritz Eclipse on Nov 2.

Lerner won one more race aboard In Bocca El Lupo, but a record of two wins from 40 rides in 2018 was not quite the introduction to Singapore racing he had wished for.

Then came the December break and it could not have come at a better time.

It gave him the chance to reassess the situation, regroup and recharge his batteries. Then came that Tuesday meeting and Lerner was right on target with that win on Letigo.

Capitalising on barrier one in that Kranji Stakes C race run over the mile, Lerner punched Letitgo to the lead, but soon had Panache (Daniel Moor) for company.

But Lerner wasn't about to give away anything for free. He held his ground but decided it was best to allow the intruder to roll forward around the last bend.

Meanwhile, favourite Captain Jamie was circling the field three wide.

He looked menacing but somehow he gave up the fght at the 300m mark.

It was about same time Lerner decided to go for broke.

In a few bounds, the Irish-bred six-year-old by Multiplex lengthened strides, collared Panache before drawing clear for an imposing 3 ½-length win.

Panache had to settle for second place while Captain Jamie could not sustain his searching run to finish third another 1¼ lengths away.

Now that the Frenchman has demonstrated what he can do, expect him to get more rides - and not just from the Meagher yard.

HORSE RACING