Secret of his success - how Marwing plotted route to victory

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 March, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 March, 2002, 12:00am
 

South African jockey Weichong Marwing produced a carbon copy of Gerald Mosse's winning ride from last year's Hong Kong Derby yesterday as Olympic Express scored even more emphatically than Industrial Pioneer. Here's how he saw the race from the back of the favourite:


'Olympic Express looked magnificent before the race in the parade. Ivan's instructions were to keep him out of trouble and make sure he gets a clear, relaxed run in midfield.


'When the gates flew open, the horse jumped really well. When he did that, even though I wanted to relax him early, I didn't want to pull back out of the race, either. I guess everyone expected that the leading horses would go at a good clip, and with that in my mind I didn't want to start to ease and then find that I was dropping back as everyone else was pressing forward.


'So I went with him a bit going round the first turn, letting him roll forward at his own speed without pushing him forward, and I was lucky when I looked over and saw Eric Legrix coming up on my inside on Magical Warrior. Eric was going forward and looking for a handy position but he was three wide, so I thought I could just slide over as he went past me and get some cover behind his horse.


'That was my first job, to get some cover, and by the time we got to the back straight I couldn't have been happier with how it was working out. I hadn't used my horse, I was about six or seven lengths off the leader, three wide but with good cover and everything was going nicely. I was quite happy to be a bit wide as long as I had some cover, because there were no horses around to upset my horse's rhythm.


'I was getting no pressure on my outside from anyone coming around, my horse was making ground, working into the race beautifully. Down the side of the course as we got to the 800 metres, the only thing I was praying for was that Legrix's horse would keep going and take me into the straight. I was in a perfect position as long as he could keep on going. I said: 'Please, please take me to the turn!'


'It can be a problem when you trail wide behind the horse facing the breeze, that when the extra effort tells on him, he starts to weaken and then you have to make a move. If Magical Warrior died on me, I would not have had any option but to pull around rather than get caught behind him and it was earlier than I wanted to come out.


'At that stage, Olympic Express was just where I wanted to be and I was still happy to keep my horse covered up and not ask him to do anything. Luckily, Magical Warrior kept going strongly enough to take me around the home turn before he felt the pinch and I just peeled off him as we straightened up for the run down the home straight.


'I could feel plenty of horse under me but I just sat quietly for as long as I felt I could. Then, about the 250 metres, I pressed him. He went past the leaders in a few strides, then really stayed on to the post and won by a decisive space. Like any race, you never have it won until you pass the post, but he won today like I hoped he would and showed everyone he really is the horse that we thought he was all along.'


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