El Tordillo drifts out but still doubles dose

Trainer Daniel Meagher was delighted all the patience shown with El Tordillo has paid off after the grey brought up back-to-back victories on Sunday.

The second win in the $45,000 Class 4 Non Premier race over 1200m might not have been as clear-cut as his 4 ½-length win in a Maiden race over 1200m three weeks ago, but the Australian handler said the Dalghar four-year-old was still heading in the right direction.

“He’s a nice horse who is still learning about racing. He had his issues like joint surgery before I got him,” said Meagher who saddled a double with Mystic Pride (Nooresh Juglall) three races later. 

El Tordillo (Benny Woodworth) scores back-to-back wins in Race 3 on Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club

“Credit to my staff for keeping him sound as he’s also not been an easy horse to train.

“It’s good for us as those winners sure help pay the bills, and it’s also good for Benny Woodworth. As I’ve said before, we’ve struck up a pretty good association.”

The Malaysian jockey has been in a rich vein of form, which statistics keepers would know actually began last year with his two Group successes with Forever Young. He has this year booted home 10 winners, six of whom have come from Meagher.

His last win actually came from El Tordillo, hence his surprise at the way he drifted out under pressure on Sunday.

“I don’t know why he did that today. He was hanging out for most of the way, not just in the home straight,” he said.

“But even though he did that, he still gave a nice kick. The others could not catch him.

“He should have won more easily if not for this problem.”

Bustled up early from his awkward alley (7) to take up a handy spot, El Tordillo could not tuck in, coursing out a wide journey in third spot before launching at the top of the straight.

With frontrunner Let’s Talk Now (Shafrizal Saleh) already toast, El Tordillo charged to the front, but then started to drift towards the standside. Favourite Special Rain (Vlad Duric) and The Golden Goat (Amirul Ismail) pounced at the golden opportunity, but Meagher’s wayward horse did not knock up and somehow had his two challengers safely held on the line.

Special Rain ran second one and a half lengths away with The Golden Goat third another half-length away. The winning time was 1min 13.71secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.

Woodworth said he went into the race with a reasonable level of confidence, as long as he stuck to the same winning formula.

“On his last win, I thought he had good ability and I gave him a decent chance even if he was up in class,” said Woodworth.

“We wanted him to be up there in a handy spot like at his last win and that’s why I got him up there early. He was travelling well, and even though he hung out, he was too good in the end.

“We will just have to work on that hanging issue.”

With that second win, El Tordillo has now taken his stakes earnings around the $40,000 mark for the Water Tower Stable.