A return to his favourite leading tactics paid handsome dividends for Whistling Win on Friday night.
Lined up in the $60,000 Class 4 Premier race over 1000m on Polytrack, the Leticia Dragon-trained three-year-old probably won the race when he wrested the lead from Alaranch 300m into the scamper.
After tuning the race down to a nicety, jockey Barend Vorster still had a lapful of horse upon straightening. The moment he pulled up the anchors, the son of Golden Archer quickly put the issue beyond doubt by drawing clear to a two-and-a-quarter length win from a gallant Shaqraa (Mark Ewe) with Dreamweaver (Michael Rodd) third another half-a-length away.
Whistling Win (Barend Vorster) pulls away to a convincing win in Race 5, picture Singapore Turf Club
The winning time was 59.45 seconds for the 1000m on the Polytrack.
Dragon had every reason to be beaming at the lead-in. The speedy customer won one of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe Legs for her as a two-year-old, but has since shown chequered form for his owner Tan Kay Chuan.
The Singaporean handler said the early pounding as a youngster did take the edge off him with time, but she is confident he has come back fresh and stronger.
“We kept it simple tonight even though he drew the widest (in nine): Go for his favourite tactics - straight to the lead,” said Dragon.
“That is his regular style. He jumped well from the barrier and did it easy once Barend was able to secure the lead.
“He probably lost his way a little after he showed promise as a two-year-old. But that’s because he is only a young horse and he’s had quite a lot of racing.
“He was also back to his racing weight (drop from 484kgs to 466kgs) tonight. The 1000m on Polytrack is at this stage his go and we will stick to that – for now.”
Vorster, who was at his first partnership with Whistling Win ($31), said he had to press on when he saw Alaranch in the lead.
“Nooresh’s horse does not have the same pace as my horse, who is a free-running sort and I had to let him stride out,” said the South African jockey who has obviously done his homework.
“There was not much point to be too tactical. I just let him use his action and as he was nice and fit tonight, back to his racing weight, he gave a good kick in the straight.”
With that third win, Whistling Win has amassed close to $120,000 in prizemoney for Mr Tan.