Perfect start and finish for Whyte

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 May, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 May, 1999, 12:00am

TOP South African jockey Douglas Whyte kept the pressure on the premiership leaders by book-ending last night's Sha Tin meeting.

Whyte (47 winners) moved to a share of third on the jockeys' table when scoring aboard Trillion Win in the griffin opener and then completed the job when Telecom Chief arrived late and wide in the Class Two finale.

Telecom Chief also gave long-serving local mentor Alex Wong Yu-on a winning double of his own, after he'd scored with Tim's Dragon earlier on the card.

Whyte and compatriot Robbie Fradd, who also hit pay dirt when Winning Luck won the Class Six mile, are now just five winners adrift of defending champion Basil Marcus.

Eric Saint-Martin, who went home empty-handed last night, holds down second spot with 48 successes.

Marcus worked his magic with Tim's Dragon, who had not won in 18 previous outings. He rode a peach of race to just hold on from the fast-finishing Pretty Baby (13-1).

But the honours were with Whyte, who now has a real sniff of the title after looking a forlorn hope just three months ago.

And winners like Trillion Win (9-1) are just the type to tip the scales in his favour. Ivan Allan is a master at having one ready for a first-up go and this griffin appears to have a great galloping career ahead of him after carrying the famous dark blue and white 'V' silks of stablemate Billion Win to a dominant victory.

This race was restricted to two-year-olds, but the Last Tycoon gelding produced a powerful performance.

He pulled his way to the front early and simply kept improving under Whyte, pulling some 4.75 lengths clear on the line.

The David Hayes-trained Momentum (4.5-1), a late pick-up ride for Marcus after Danny Lee was sidelined with stomach upset, raced very greenly in the final two furlongs, eventually putting his head down and striding out to grab second. He too has a future but, unlike most of the Hayes recruits, still has plenty to learn about the game.

Tim Pratt