McGregor rings up double for Clements

Trainer Michael Clements enjoyed a good night at the office on Friday when two of his horses saluted, including a new arrival.

Recent stable transfer (from Kuah Cheng Tee) Scorpio ($42) got the yard off to a flying start in the first race, the $35,000 Class 5 Division 1 race over 1200m before old stalwart McGregor ($46) doubled the score four races later in the highlight of the standalone meeting, the $80,000 Open Benchmark 74 race over 1700m on Polytrack.

On both occasions, the victories were forged with a clear margin. After racing handy for Nunes, Scorpio, who had only one second to show for at his 10 previous runs, raced away to a commanding 2 ¼-length win from Sir Reginald (Derreck David) in 1min 10.96secs for the 1200m on the Short Course while McGregor (Michael Rodd) followed more or less the same pattern as his victorious stablemate and was equally impressive when he collared race-leader Northern Knight (Ng Choon Kiat) before grinding his way to a solid two-length win. The winning time was 1min 45.59secs for the 1700m on the Polytrack.

McGregor (Michael Rodd) makes it back-to-back wins on Friday night, picture Singapore Turf Club

Clements said McGregor, a seven-year-old by Magic Albert, was a horse who needs to have things his way to be at his very best.

“At his last start, he won over 1400m. The trick to him is to get him out of the barriers,” said the Zimbabwean-born handler.

“If he gets out badly, that spoils his chances. He’s won over 1600m twice and is the sort who just keeps on grinding.”

Rodd, who was at his fourth ride aboard McGregor, was glad he had finally been able to score on the Graham Mackie-owned gelding.

“He can be a difficult horse to ride. Nooresh Juglall made it look easy when he bounced out to lead at his last start,” said the Australian jockey.

“He’s always slow out of the gates and he then has no chance as he pulls really hard.

“Tonight, he just rolled out there and was comfortable in his action, and just kicked away at a good bat.

“He’s a horse who needs things to go his way. I think if the race is a bit stop-start on grass, he loses his action.”

With that sixth win from 31 starts, McGregor has now amassed more than $270,000 in stakes earnings for Mackie.