Walker races ahead with four winners
2015 champion overtakes reigning champion Alwin Tan in trainers' premiership table
After a quiet Friday evening with no winner from 15 runners in eight races, trainer Mark Walker came out firing like a machine gun yesterday, winning four of the first five races.
With his four-bagger, Walker now leads with 17 winners.
In the process, the 2015 Singapore champion has overtaken reigning champion Alwin Tan by two winners in this year's premiership quest.
Tan drew a blank from 20 runners over the two days (nine on Friday and 11 yesterday).
In Race 4, Walker's newcomer, O'Reilly Star, was backed down as the $13 favourite but ran third to the James Peters-trained $269 outsider DEADLINE DAY and Super Tycoon.
The New Zealander also saddled two seconds (Distinctive Darci and Damon) and a third (Ahmar) in the last five races yesterday. He had no runner in Race 6. In total, he sent out 17 runners yesterday.
Walker snared Races 1 to 3 with ASPREY, HIDDEN PROMISE and NAZIR respectively and Race 5 with STAR STRIKE.
Ridden by jockey R Shafiq, Asprey stepped up on his last-start fourth to take the Kranji Stakes D-3 event over 1,200m.
Aided by the blinkers again, after racing without them in his last four starts, the $37 chance came from a handy spot to beat stablemate Pure Justice by three-quarter lengths.
Hidden Promise showed that the back-up within seven days had no effect on him, although he laid inwards twice at the top of the straight.
Apprentice R Zawari had to stop riding to straighten his mount and was lucky to get up to beat the $22 second favourite Tiger Bay by a neck in the Class 5 race over 1,600m and pay $27.
It was French jockey Gerald Mosse's turn to provide Walker his third winner, steering the grey Nazir ($66) to a nice victory in the Class 3 race over 1,600m.
The Walker-Shafiq combination was back in the winner's enclosure with $17 favourite Star Strike in the Kranji Stakes D-2 race over 1,200m.
"Hopefully, it keeps going," said a delighted Walker of his fruitful day.