Champion leaves best until last aboard San Lorenzo
Where would you go looking among 102 winners and 589 rides for the best performance by Douglas Whyte as he made his way to a sixth straight jockeys' championship? Well, according to the Durban Demon himself, you need look no further than the 102nd success on San Lorenzo in the Cox's Handicap yesterday.
'If I was asked what was my best ride today, that would be it and it would be right up on the short list for the whole season - I took a lot of professional pleasure from that win,' said Whyte after squeezing the six-year-old home in a three-way photo. 'The horse that he is and the company he's in, San Lorenzo needs absolutely everything to go right for him to win a race now.'
Which is precisely what he got from Whyte when he buried him back along the rail for most of yesterday's Class One event. 'I took him back early from gate six, then got over the fence and got up behind the speed, where he hugged the rail all the way to the home turn. Even when he came out, I nursed him and nursed him as long as I could,' Whyte said.
'And when the post came up, I pushed his neck and he just stretched far enough to win. People might look at that and say there was something left because I didn't ever hit him with the whip but the fact is that he is a very willing horse, who gives you everything and, if he is trying his best and you hit him, he resents it and curls up. So we both did our jobs right today - me for getting him there and not using the whip, and San Lorenzo for knowing what he had to do in the last bit and doing it.'