Racing

Zaki snares a rare treble

Malaysian jockey twice denies Chavez a four-timer

Mohd Zaki, the underrated Malaysian jockey, is always noted for his brilliant catch-me-if-you-can riding tactics.

After all, most of his wins were from go to whoa.

But, on Saturday, he proved that he was not one-dimensional again with his rare long-priced treble - Longhu ($107 for a win), Sun Conqueror ($74) and From The Navy ($213).

Of the three, only Longhu made every post a winning one.

The Kelantan-born rider pushed the Shane Baertschiger-trained nine-year-old to the front from Gate 7 in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over the Polytrack 1,200m.

The combination, who also led throughout three starts earlier on June 27, were well clear on straightening, about two lengths clear of the $38 chance Charger.

When Zaki applied his whip, Longhu lengthened. From there, it was evident the bird had flown. Longhu won by two lengths from the late-closing Fast And Fearless in 1min 11.90sec.

Zaki felt Longhu had a chance from his nine rides for five different trainers in the card of 12, so winning three was a bonus.

"Longhu is probably the one I expected would run well. Shane just told me to jump him and try to go forward," he said.

"Turning for home, I still had plenty of horse and I was very confident he could win.

On the Desmond Koh-trained Sun Conqueror in the $30,000 Class 5 race over the Poly 1,700m, Zaki roused his mount but he was beaten by Gingerman for the lead.

So he just parked his mount on the outside of the leader.

He hit the front at the top of the straight, but Oscar Chavez swooped in on his outside.

After a tense tussle, Zaki drove Sun Conqueror to win by three lengths in 1min 46.54sec and deny Chavez of a four-timer.

The Panama-born naturalised Singaporean had scored on the Jason Lim-trained Captain Singapore ($12), David Kok-trained Happy Moment ($15) and Kok-trained Leggenda ($19).

On June 12, Chavez achieved a handsome four-timer with Fort Mustang, Arion Passion, Tangible and Matsuribayashi.

Zaki's victory on Baertschiger-trained From The Navy was a good piece of horsemanship.

Still way back turning for home, he gradually worked his mount up to take the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over the Poly 1,000m by a length in 58.95sec.

Chavez again was the runner-up, on Teardrops.

"From The Navy was a big surprise. The pace was quick and he flew home, again I was just lucky," said Zaki.

"I had a good book of rides and I thought I could ride one winner maybe, but three? I can't believe it, I hope there will be more to come."

The last time he rode a treble was on Dec 16, 2011 - aboard Prime Mover, Gypsy Magic and See Me Win.

HORSE RACING