Iron Man gets back on board
Jockey Barend Vorster made his only ride of the night count after he steered Iron Man to a gutsy all-the-way victory in the $80,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 1600m on Friday night.
The South African rider bounced the Thai-owned Argentinian-bred five-year-old out from his barrier No 5 to glide easily to the front before stacking up the speed for what was soon to shape up as a sit-and-sprint race.
Down the back, there was only four lengths between first to last for the nine-horse field.
Iron Man (Barend Vorster) bounces back to winning ways on Friday night, picture Singapore Turf Club
Favourite Mr Scorsese (John Powell) and Golazo (Derreck David) did come eye-balling him on the outside, but in spite of the close attention, once Vorster slipped some reins, they all ended up chasing shadows.
Iron Man ($27), who had just the one Kranji win prior but three wins back in Argentina all over 1400m, kept kicking strongly to comfortably stave off a late challenge from Irish-bred Gold Faith (Michael Rodd) and hold on with three parts of a length to spare.
Though Golazo slogged it out the hard way right through, the Japanese-bred son of Screen Hero did not peter out as expected, plugging on solidly to claim third place another half-length away. The winning time was 1min 35.81secs for the 1600m on the Short Course.
Mr Scorsese had every chance but lacked the necessary acceleration to really threaten to finish out of the podium, 1 ¼ lengths off Golazo, and was overall a slight disappointment.
Le Grange himself began the night on a bad note with odds-on favourite Sattar biting the dust, but that handy win from Iron Man, his only other runner of the night, more than made up for the earlier letdown.
“At his last start, he put in a good run (fourth to Chopin’s Fantaisie) and tonight he got a brilliant ride from Barend,” said the South African trainer.
“Big thanks to the guys from Thailand. They have an honest horse who had his issues along the way, but who got the job done tonight.
“I think he’s the type you need to pace his races a little bit. You know what, he beat a fairly nice field tonight, and we will now take him home and look after him.”
Vorster could also give himself a pat on the back after his 100% perfect record for the night.
“From the start, I got him striding forward and he was very comfortable once he led,” he said.
“The other horses came around him, but he stood his ground throughout. He was rock-hard fit and was always travelling well on the bridle.
“When Michael’s horse (Gold Faith) came to his girth, he kept on finding. He wouldn’t stop going after the post, I could only pull him up at the 800m, he could have gone another lap.
“He ran very well at his last start and he was able to follow up on that by beating a strong field tonight.
“I’m happy for Ricky as he’s been able to keep his horses ticking over, and that one was just another one.”
With that second win, Iron Man, who pocketed US$32,260 when known as Famoso Dan in Argentina, has now racked up in excess of $130,000 for the Falcon Racing No 4 Stable on local soil.