Hungry Whyte has Size on his side to thrive
Today's 11-race card has an ominous look to it for Douglas Whyte, the champion jockey returning from a two-meeting suspension hungry to chase down his own record for wins in a season.
Whyte was left stranded on 99 wins when nailed on the line by Brett Prebble two weeks ago at Happy Valley, but should quickly bring up three figures early today, and then set about chasing down his mark of 114 wins set in 2005-06.
The 39-year-old's renowned competitiveness will be sharpened by his record chase, a task he has eight meetings to complete, starting with 10 rides this afternoon.
As usual, John Size provides much of the ammunition for Whyte's Jockey Challenge assault, for which he was a dominant $1.70 favourite last night.
The Dream Team have combined for a phenomenal 45 wins from 233 starts this season - a remarkable strike rate of 19 per cent - and they pair up with five runners today, all of them rated single figures in betting.
In the opening race, Red Courage will be looking for his second griffin win for the term after breaking through last start, while Whyte bookends the meeting on Aomen, who heads to the dirt for the second time drawn one.
In between, the Size-trained charges Holyangelholy, Gamekeepers and Moneymaker all seem assured of providing points for the South African, whose best 'outside ride' is the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained Why Not.
Why Not was a touch flat-footed when beaten into fifth as odds-on favourite last start, but a step up to a mile for the first time should suit the three-year-old, who has drawn ideally in two.
Jockey Challenge second favourite Prebble had some support last night - he was backed from $5.50 into $5 - despite having two less rides than his arch-rival.
Prebble has formed a deadly combination with John Moore, who provides four of his rides, the pair striking for 10 wins at 29 per cent this term. He also rides Common Goal, a last-start winner who is a great chance in a Class Three on the dirt.