Iron Man shows his mettle again

Argentinian-bred galloper Iron Man overcame a bad alley to eventually make short work of his rivals in the $80,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 1400m on Sunday.

Spearing over from his widest gate to take a sit outside leader Gold Crown (Michael Rodd), the Hidden Truth five-year-old and all-the-way last-start winner over the mile bided his time until the 11-horse field swung for home.

Scrubbed up for his run by Barend Vortser, Iron Man hit the front with resolve with a gaggle of swoopers descending on him, but they were all held off at arm’s length without much fuss.

Iron Man (Barend Vorster) reigns supreme as he races away to an easy win on Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club

Trainer Ricardo Le Grange’s valiant ward sent no signals of distress at any stage to go and post a solid two-length win from Bao Shan Magic (Vlad Duric) with Gold Crown third another short head away. Hong Kong import Dee Dee D’Or (Glen Boss) flew home late to take fourth place another 1 ½ lengths away.

The winning time was 1min 23.14secs for the seven furlongs on the Short Course.

Le Grange said that Sunday’s trip was not his charge’s favourite and that he should showcase even more qualities over longer.

“He will get better the longer he stays. He also likes his races well-spaced,” said the South African conditioner.

“It was a great ride by Barend Vorster. He rode him very positive from the word go.

“Another big thank you to the Thai guys (Falcon Racing No 4 Stable) as they put a lot of money into the game.

“All in all, he’s a very tough horse. Once he cleared barrier 11 today, he just stuck to his guns.”

Vorster concurred with the trainer that Iron Man has matured both physically and mentally.

“He can be quite a character in the morning as he can be a bit of a hothead,” said the South African jockey.

“We’ve just got to manage him. He was rock-hard fit today, put himself there and turning for home, he just wants to do it.

“Barrier 11 can make it more testing, but sometimes, it’s not such a bad thing. I saw Michael’s (Rodd) horse (Gold Reward) on my inside, and I was able to come across to sit behind him.

“In the end, he just went through his gears for a very strong win. He’s just loving it at the minute, he’s just enjoying his racing.”

Known as Famoso Dan in Argentina where he won three races from four starts, Iron Man has now brought his record to three wins and three placings from 15 starts for stakes earnings around $175,000 for his Thai owners.