Singapore trainer Ricardo Le Grange, our SP personality of the week, teamed up with countryman Barend Vorster for an eyecatching winner at Kranji on Friday evening.
Did you read the Le Grange interview? Click here for more
Master Of Malibu showed the full benefit of his two-month spell with a smashing win in the SG$45,000 Class 4 Non Premier race over 1200m.
The Argentine-bred four-year-old son of Master Of Hounds did show promise on debut a little over a year ago when recording an almost identical victory to Friday’s in an Initiation race over 1200m on Polytrack.
But he has since showed chequered form at his next Kranji assignments, even if seldom beaten out of his ground.
Trainer Ricardo Le Grange’s decision to tip him out bore fruit in the best way possible.
Sent off the favourite, Master Of Malibu was never in doubt once he cleared the field to settle on the paint.
Success Come True (Alysha Collett) and Host The Nation (Mohd Zaki) nipped at his heels, but there was no second-guessing where the thicker end of the prizemoney was going once heads turned for home.
Master Of Malibu quickly opened up to a commanding break, seemingly having shaken off the chasing pack, save for one – Prince Alexander (Michael Rodd). The last-start winner cut back the deficit but insufficiently to topple Master Of Malibu who hit the line with three-quarter length to spare.
Host The Nation ran third another 1 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 12.22secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.
“I gave him a nice freshen-up and he’s come back looking stronger and fitter. He looked really well in the parade ring tonight,” said Le Grange.
“His trial last week (August 8) was really good and he was given a very good positive ride by Barend (Vorster). He rated him perfectly and the horse responded very well to his riding.
“Master Of Malibu’s a horse you can’t back up too quickly as he’s a light-framed type. He runs well when freshened up.
“It’s always good to train another winner for Mark and Emily Yong. They have been patient with this horse and they got the rich rewards tonight.”
Vorster has had a relatively quiet first half of the year but his season is starting to gain traction. Master Of Malibu was his 21st winner for the year, allowing him to leap over Benny Woodworth to ninth spot on the log.
“He pinged the gates and was nice and relaxed throughout,” said the South African jockey.
“The pace was not too strong, which was just nice. At the 600m, I got him to work a little and at the top of the straight, he quickened off really well.
“There were a few horses coming in on the inside, but he found another gear and was pretty strong through the line.
“It was nice to see him coming back a winner after a break. You’ve got to place his races and Ricardo has found the right race for him tonight.”
That second win and two previous third placings have taken his prizemoney level edging closer to the $80,000 mark for the Yongs’ Tmen Stable.
- Singapore Turf Club / Michael Lee – additional by SP Editorial Staff