Red-hot Coetzee climbs up the ladder

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 March, 2008, 12:00am

For the second time in a fortnight, Felix Coetzee dominated proceedings with a four-timer to take him to joint third in the championship standings.

Coetzee again showcased his clever handling of a frontrunner with a tactical gem on Danesis in the opening race, then added Multi-Win Spirit for Francis Lui Kin-wai in the Class Five fourth race before the John Size-trained pair of Slow Waltz and Sight Winner gave him yet another day to remember.

Coetzee did go through a mid-season lull not long ago but his association with Size has allowed him to continue to put a spotlight on his talents and keep the opportunities flowing and the flurry of winners over the last few weeks has been testimony to his skills.

It has been commonplace for Size to pick Coetzee as the stand-in for champion Douglas Whyte when he is unavailable for reasons of suspension or being unable to do the weight, but now Lui has also joined in.

Multi-Win Spirit had raced well twice for Whyte before he was suspended for the horse's last run and Coetzee deputised, but wet conditions conspired against him.

With Whyte out again yesterday, Lui again called on Coetzee. 'Multi-Win Spirit does need firm going to do his best so I was not surprised that he improved today though I didn't expect him to be so far back,' added Lui.

'The early winners had been in the lead today and I wanted the horse to race fairly close to the front as a result but with the pace the way it was, Felix did the right thing by waiting.'

Though Coetzee said his tactics had little to do with any choice on his part but hinted that the patience shown by the Multi-Win Syndicate - which has waited until the horse was a six-year-old before getting their first win - may have more rewards in store.

'Yes, Francis did ask me to be handier but they really ran along early and there wasn't a lot I could do about it,' he said. 'The main point was that even though I was back in the field, the run we got through was absolutely terrific. They all cleared off the fence in front of me - it was like the Red Sea parting - and Multi-Win Spirit gave me some lovely acceleration that you don't always expect to see in a Class Five horse.'

Coetzee's tally for the season climbed to 33 as he joined Darren Beadman in third place on the ladder.


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