Marwing's treble signals his return to form
South African rider Weichong Marwing threw off the shackles of an uncharacteristically slow start to the season as he drilled home a treble yesterday to announce that he and Ivan Allan are back.
Marwing does most of the riding for three-times champion trainer Allan, and both have commenced relatively quietly, with just five wins each in the first two months of the new term.
But they combined to win with promising young horses Harvey Mudd and Scintillation in the second and sixth events, before Marwing jumped on to Tony Cruz-trained Lucky Paradise in place of suspended Felix Coetzee to land the Shun Hing Golden Jubilee Cup.
Scintillation had been the cause of a punters' outburst at Marwing three weeks ago when sent out a hot favourite over 1,400 metres but refused to settle in the run and finished third.
Horseplayers hurled abuse at Marwing that day, but they were singing his praises yesterday as the promising gelding travelled much better with some new equipment in the 200-metre shorter event and dented the reputations of Hekyll N' Jyde, Flying Kenny and Lucky Marauding with the win.
'Scintillation had a hood on for first time today - not to fix his racing manners, just so he couldn't hear the bad language of the punters if he lost again!' Allan quipped. 'The reality of this win is that the other favourites didn't handle the wet going today, he did.
'So he might have been assisted by that but I do think he's quite a good horse - still green but he just needs to relax a bit. He'll turn out better than what we have seen from him so far, I think.'
Allan had announced after the recent defeat at 1,400 metres that he would drop the gelding to short races for the time being and was not departing from that tack yesterday. 'We'll keep him at these shorter trips while he is learning and until he settles down a bit,' he said.
The victory showed again that the progeny of late super sire Danehill revel with some cut in the ground and gave him another marvellous day to follow five wins a week ago. Four of the first six winners yesterday were by Danehill, with two later winners, Tom's First and Lucky Paradise, by his sire sons Danehill Dancer and Flying Spur respectively.
Allan's first winner, Harvey Mudd, is also by Danehill and promises more to come after just four starts. 'He would have been unlucky to be beaten today, Douglas Whyte's whip on the second horse struck Harvey Mudd on the nose in the straight so he showed courage to win,' Allan said.
'He's an improver and I think there are a few more wins ahead for him.'
The gelding's unusual name comes from a famous university in the United States.
'I wondered what was going on when the owner told me the name,' Allan said. 'But it's like Harvard or Princeton, a very prestigious school, and the owner's son studied there.'