Racing

Muraahib third-time lucky

Freedman full of confidence on the highly rated four-time Australian winner

Muraahib stepped up on two smart placings to be third-time lucky in Race 7 at Kranji yesterday, bolting home by 21/2 lengths in the $70,000 Class 3 Div 2 event over the Polytrack 1,200m.

A former four-time winner for trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig in Melbourne, the Reset five-year-old set the standards high with a 7 ¼-length barrier trial win on July 11, but could only run third on debut in a 1,000m race.

He followed up with a second place at his last start over 1,200m. Both races were in Class 3 company.

Though trainer Lee Freedman admitted he was expecting more from the horse he shares in partnership with the Oscar Racing Stable, he forgave those runs.

But he would be less tolerant of another defeat yesterday.

"I had an enormous confidence in this horse. He was on the speed the first time and just missed out, but he drifted out at his next run," said Freedman.

"He was rated very highly back home and I would have been disappointed if he didn't win today."

Ridden by John Powell for the first time, the even-money favourite was always in the first few, ambling along off the speed set by Super Power and Charger before taking the race easily.

he winning time was 1min 10.95sec.

Powell said he was just lucky to get the seat on the former Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum-owned gelding at the right time.

"He had quite good form, but I noticed he was a bit of a gangly sort," said the Australian.

"He was unbalanced, but he was a bit smoother today. There was some speed outside, and I used his speed to come across and sit outside the leader.

"He ran away from them in the end, his action was good. All the credit should go to the horse."

HORSE RACING