My Dreamliner soars
Young-trained sprinter scores fifth success despite racing wide and drifting in
Three wide for most of the way and then drifting in shortly after straightening.
These will give racegoers the jitters, but My Dreamliner cast them aside to beat a good field in the $70,000 Clarksons Platou Cup 2020, a Class 3 race over the Polytrack 1,000m on Sunday.
Although covering a slightly longer trip than his 10 rivals, the the Young Keah Yong-trained four-year-old managed to win by 11/4 lengths in a smart 58.93sec.
This endorsed his potential and capability.
It was My Dreamliner's fifth success in just eight starts. He was second once and fourth four times, meaning that he has yet to finish out of the first four.
He has now amassed prize money of $192,825 for his owner, oil trader Tang Weng Fei, who is also the president of Singapore Athletics.
Ridden by trainer Lee Freedman's apprentice jockey, R Iskandar, who has won on the horse twice before, some might have thought the rookie had overdone it with his obstinacy in leading despite a wide path from the awkward alley.
The equally quick Red Rover, with 3kg-claimer M Nizar astride, and Lonhro Gold (Michael Rodd) would not yield an inch on the inside.
Neither would the Malaysian 3kg-claimer who kept pressing forward three wide, punching the breeze on My Dreamliner.
Most horses are softened up by such tactics, but it soon became clear they had not been counterproductive to My Dreamliner's chances this time around.
If anything, Iskandar had actually done the right thing by refraining from breaking his mount's stride.
As the bold bay was taken hard up against the rails inside the last 400m, he suddenly opened up a gap of two lengths on the chasing pack, showing no signs of letting up the closer he got to the winning post.
The dreaded lactic acid did eventually kick in, but luckily for his $26 backers, the bird had already flown.
The fast-finishing Fulife King (Juan Paul van der Merwe) cut the margin down to 11/4 lengths in the end, with Red Rover third, 3/4 lengths away.
Young had the countenance of a trainer who was no doubt delighted that the best horse in his stable had brought the bacon home again, but also wished he was a bit more bomb-proof.
"He ran good at his last start but went down to a very good horse (Excelling)," said the Singaporean handler.
"I was worried about the draw, especially as there were speedy horses on the inside, but he was equal to the task.
"I'll probably look for a better race over 1,200m for him. We still can't settle him, though, and I will see how he improves in his trackwork, hopefully he settles better."