Whyte leaves it late to bring a smile to faces of Challenge backers and Size yard
Douglas Whyte left his run until the last race, but finally made his debut into the Jockey Challenge a winning one to the relief of favourite backers, completing a Dream Team treble in the final race.
Whyte was well into odds-on for the Challenge on his return from suspension, and appeared to have it in the bag early when the John Size-trained Right Fraar and Unique Jewellery won races two and three respectively, but his backers only found themselves properly comfortable in the dying stages of the last as Tan Tat Baby surged clear to make it three for the trainer-jockey combination.
Owner-mates Unique Jewellery and Tan Tat Baby have had their last three starts on the same programme each time, racking up five wins from the six races, but if Whyte and Size are right it is only the beginning.
'Both of them feel like Class One horses to me,' said Size.
'Unique Jewellery has done a good job. He's only a three-year-old and carried a good weight today in Class Three and it's a good effort to get to Class Two as quickly as he has.
'That might do him for this season and we'll give him a rest but I think he's a pretty exciting horse for next season.
'With Tan Tat Baby it was just a mistake going to 1,600m second-up. With speed on at 1,400m today he relaxed better and was able to show that turn of foot that he's got.'
Whyte said sending the two horses to different distances had been key for Tan Tat Baby and Unique Jewellery. 'I think Unique Jewellery would have been beaten if he had still been at 1,400m today and Tan Tat Baby would have been beaten at 1,600m,' he said.
'Tan Tat Baby travels very keen, you really feel a lot of horse under you and he really tugs, so at the moment he is using twice as much energy as another horse.
'But as soon as he does drop his head and gets the speed on like he had today, he has a phenomenal turn of foot for a big horse. He was a long way off the leaders but turned that race around in 100m.
'He will get a mile in the future but he's just a bit eager to get on with things at the moment.'
Right Fraar defied a betting drift out to 10-1 before winning his second race for the season in the Class Four second event at 1,800m, and Size observed the gelding enjoyed yesterday's midfield position more than being on the pace last time out.
'He drew badly last time and circumstances were difficult, Right Fraar didn't appreciate being on the pace,' Size said.
'Today Douglas was able to get him into midfield and the middle of the race was run fairly solidly and that gave the horse the chance to do what he can do, and that's stay.'
Whyte's treble took him along to 82 wins for the season, despite it being pock-marked with suspensions, and the Durban Demon is only five short of his 1,000th Hong Kong victory.