Savvy takes over Command again
The 4YO New Zealand-bred bounces back from a spell to help trainer Walker and rookie Hakim score a double each
Savvy Command showed the benefit of a 51/2-month spell to bounce back to victory under the rider of the moment, apprentice jockey Hakim Kamaruddin, in Race 7 on Saturday.
Fresh from his two four-timers in the last two meetings, trainer Mark Walker's protege had taken Race 2 on the James Peters-trained Wind Of Dubai.
Walker went on to saddle Time Lord to post a $141 surprise in Race 9 with veteran jockey John Powell astride.
Hakim was second on stablemate Silent Partner.
His double took his tally to 15 winners, seven clear of Brazilian Ruan Maia, in the overall jockeys' table. Maia has since left to ride in Hong Kong.
Sitting in third spot with six winners are Wong Chin Chuen, who sat out Saturday's meeting because of a careless riding suspension, fellow apprentice Iskandar Rosman and Frenchman Louis-Philippe Beuzelin.
Iskandar and Beuzelin rode a winner each on Saturday - aboard Kharisma and Tuesday respectively.
Hakim also finished third on Our Secret Weapon and Golden Flame from his other mounts. He is in such great demand that he had a full book of rides again.
Savvy Command started his career promisingly, winning his debut impressively on Aug 2. It was a Restricted Maiden event over 1,200m on turf in a smart 1min 10.01sec.
He then beat all but the classy Heartening Flyer by a mere neck just two weeks later over the same course and distance in Novice company. The winner's time was 1min 09.81sec.
After finishing 10th over 1,400m on a yielding track in Class 4, he was rested and resumed only on Saturday.
With growing confidence, Hakim was cool as a cucumber on Savvy Command, who came in for strong betting and went off at $20 for a win.
The favourite Be You managed to secure the lead after the first 200m. Lady Sprintbok and last-start winners Sage and Whiz Fizz followed behind. Savvy Command was next.
A dream opening presented in the final 250m and Hakim capitalised on it. He took his mount through to go after Be You.
With great momentum, Savvy Command overtook the leader 120m out to score by 3/4 lengths. He clocked 1min 11.79sec. His stablemate Brutus finished a pleasing third with first-season rookie Jerlyn Seow Poh Hui in the saddle.
Walker revealed that Savvy Command was spelled because he pulled a hamstring on the wet track at his last start.
"He had just the one soft trial coming into this race. He never gave me a great deal of confidence on the Polytrack, but he went well on it," he said.
"He's a horse with plenty of upsides. Being by Savabeel, he will improve with a bit of distance as well.
"I was also quite happy with Brutus' third. Hakim is riding really well, but Jerlyn's turn shouldn't be far away."
Seow finished second on the Walker-trained outsider What You Like in the last race. It was her seventh runner-up spot.
Walker credited Time Lord's victory to Powell as he "seems to know this horse well".
The Australian had scored on the horse just two starts back in a 2,000m event on turf .
Helped by the fast pace on Saturday, he saved his mount up for one run, as instructed. He flew home to beat his better fancied stablemate Silent Partner by half a length in 1min 38.68sec.
The double has taken Walker's tally to 11 winners, two behind Michael Clements, who also saddled two winners (Voluminous and Tuesday).