Vorster off the mark with double

If JP can do it, so can I!

That could have been Barend Vorster’s battle cry as he headed out for his rides aboard Super Power and Monster Energy after watching John Powell claim the first two races on Whistling Win and Born To Be King.

And just like his Australian counterpart, the South African jockey banged in two winners in double quick time, certainly making up for his blank day on New Year’s Day, a day after he celebrated his 41st birthday on December 31.

Super Power (Barend Vorster) scores back-to-back wins in Race 3 on Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club

While Super Power, a short-priced favourite at $7, was widely expected to score in the $60,000 Class 4 Premier Division 2 race over 1400m, Monster Energy ($31) was less spoken of, but just like Super Power – and incidentally Powell’s two winners – he was never reeled in once he hit terra firma upfront.

A last-start all-the-way winner in a Restricted Maiden event over the same seven-furlong trip on November 11, Super Power, a nice type by Coolmore sire Power, reproduced the same racing pattern to winning effect even if he had to contend with some company early.

Rated a treat by Vorster, the New Zealand-bred repelled the bold challenges from Marvel Hero (Craig Grylls) and Red Claw (Ryan Curatolo) with aplomb before saluting by one length.

Red Claw, who could have been a bigger threat had he found daylight earlier, ran second with Higher Soul (Olivier Placais) charging home late for third place another half-a-length away. The winning time was 1min 22.67secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.

Vorster turned up one race later, deciding if it worked for frontrunners so far, he might as well stick to the same winning formula aboard the Theo Kieser-trained Monster Energy, especially as he was breaking from the inside alley.

The Wanted three-year-old, who was donning blinkers again, sprang to the front easily, never to be rejoined by any of his 11 rivals. Debutant Introit (Daniel Moor) made an encouraging start to take second spot another two and three-quarter lengths away with $15 favourite King Of Household (Nooresh Juglall) third another neck away.

The winning time was 1min 23.91secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.

“It’s great to get two winners today, especially as my mum and my stepfather (the Loxtons) are here,” said Vorster who also had his wife Nikki on hand to celebrate the multiple happy occasions (belated birthday, New Year’s celebrations, mother being around).

“Super Power is a big strong horse. They took him on but I just used his natural action to get through the race

“He just rolled along nicely and in the straight, he just kept going. Theo’s horse was also very quick out of the gates and was just too good in the straight.”

While Monster Energy was picking up his first win in five starts, Super Power was already at his second success from four starts, with the yard pinning higher hopes on him as far as future endeavours are concerned.

“A big thank you to Andre Lim and the guys for giving me such a nice horse to train,” said trainer Ricardo Le Grange.

“They took him on early and he showed a lot of guts, especially on the Long Course to fend them off. They will have a lot of fun with this horse.

“Obviously, we are looking at the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge for him later on.”

The Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge kicks off with the first Leg, the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) on March 30 before moving to the second Leg, the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) on April 22 and the final Leg, the Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) on May 18.

“He would be a better proposition over the second and third Legs if he goes for the 3YO series,” said Vorster.