Whyte knows what's best for Great Supreme
Great Supreme's impressive debut win certainly didn't come as any shock to champion rider Douglas Whyte, but the Durban Demon reckoned the difference may have been in trainer Dennis Yip Chor-hong's willingness to accept his advice.
'I've been riding this horse for quite some time and he gave me a good feel every time I've been on him. There was a lot of horse under me in both his trials even though they were very soft,' Whyte said after Great Supreme cleaned up the Class Four Jilin Handicap by almost three lengths.
'Dennis asked me whether he should run him first-up in a shorter race and I asked him to make sure he ran in a 1,400m. The tempo of a 1,000m or 1,200m race would have meant having to push his head off early to get a position - especially as Great Supreme was not the first out - and when you do that with a green, young horse they can get lost and get beaten because of it.
'In the different tempo of the 1,400m, I was able to put him into a nice spot without driving him crazy to get there, and the result was a nice win and it will be a great confidence builder for him.'
Young, upwardly mobile horses were the order of the day for Whyte, who also won the previous on My Home Town for John Size and kept the three-year-old unbeaten.
It was classic Whyte, as the jockey parked My Home Town immediately on the back of the leaders to the home turn then My Home Town did the rest.
'It wasn't actually my intention to be that far forward today, but the horse began so well - he just pinged the gates,' Whyte said. 'He picked up very well when I asked him in the straight and I thought he picked up even a little too well and hit the front early. But by then I was committed and had to keep going.'
Size said the three-year-old's opposition had their chance to beat My Home Town if good enough yesterday.
'He had all favours there but you couldn't make any excuses for the ones he beat, either,' Size explained.
'He's a young horse with a big weight at just his second start in a race so he was there to be shot down but they couldn't. He does look progressive.'
Even this early in the season, Whyte has really opened up a good gap on any rivals for his eighth successive championship, the pair yesterday taking Whyte to 44 wins and 19 clear of the chasing pack headed by Brett Prebble.