Back-in-form Macarthur salutes again

On a night that celebrated the best two-year-olds in the land, Macarthur, a former top juvenile himself, bounced back to his best in the $60,000 Pitstop 2012 Stakes, a Class 4 race over 1200m on Polytrack on Friday.

The son of Charge Forward, now three, has seen his form see-saw a little compared to the time when he held his own against last season’s best babies like Jupiter Gold and Lim’s Racer when prepared by trainer Steven Burridge.

He did score first-up for his new handler James Peters at his first race as a three-year-old in a Class 4 race over 1200m last November, but he had subsequently mixed his form .

Macarthur (Vlad Duric) is back to his best in Race 7, picture Singapore Turf Club

Until Friday night when he suddenly got his mojo back, aided substantially by a forceful ride from in-form jockey Vlad Duric.

Rolling forward from his barrier No 4, Macarthur (joint $14 favourite with Falkirk Lead) was content to just camp outside Board Walk (Nooresh Juglall) before upping the ante inside the last 300m.

Elite Warrior (Wong Chin Chuen) and Amazing Man (Shafrizal Saleh) made a line of four for most of the way, but Duric always had Macarthur on the bridle and in a commanding position despite the close attention.

Turning for the judge, Duric waited ever so fleetingly before going hell for leather. Board Walk could not go with him while the other two dropped like flies, but Star Invincible (Derreck David) and Preferred (Moon Se Young) were running on with some purpose.

However, with Duric whacking away in his usual style, Macarthur held sway to go and score by 1 ½ lengths from Star Invincible with Preferred third another neck away. The winning time was 1min 11.83secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.

“He’s a good horse, and I think the blinkers back on helped him tonight,” said Peters.

“You can put a line through that Group 2 race over 1400m (Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic) as they went far too hard in front. He was also disappointing behind Big Man at his last start.

“We probably found a softer race for him tonight and we gave him a nice chance.”

Duric was at a riding double (he won aboard Distinctive Darci earlier) which brought his season score to the half-century, extending his lead in the Singapore jockey’s premiership to 13 winners (50 versus Alan Munro’s 37).

The Australian jockey was glad Macarthur has bounced back to his best form.

“He had the blinkers back on and he’s a very fit horse,” he said.

“He’s been a bit disappointing at his last few runs, but he turned it back on tonight. Well done to James.”

Raced by Racing Guide boss Steve Levar, Macarthur has now taken his level of prizemoney past the $230,000 level with that fourth win from 13 starts.