Dominant Whyte has rivals reeling
Champion jockey Douglas Whyte was in assertive mood, landing a four-timer and equalling his own record tally as he took the Jockey Challenge for the seventh time in his past eight attempts.
With the new Jockey Challenge format of betting in the run until race six, Whyte was already down to a price of 1.06 when the pool closed, even though the Durban Demon's day was just half over.
Big Profit opened Whyte's afternoon with trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing before he linked with John Size to claim the fifth (Perfect Match), seventh (Unique Jewellery) and last (Brilliant Chapter) races.
Brilliant Chapter's performance echoed his previous two victories, reeling off a brilliant sprint at the end of 1,200m to give his rivals nowhere to hide. 'He's a transformed horse and has a phenomenal turn of speed,' said Whyte.
'I went back today and I followed One World because I thought he was one of the other chances, but by the turn he was no more use to me. I've dropped him in a breath and gone and yet he's still kept on to finish second in the end.'
Size said the way Brilliant Chapter finishes his races off doesn't preclude the possibility he may run further but he's happy to keep him to 1,200m for now.
'He's running consistently and keeps repeating performances as he goes up the ladder and that's a very good sign for the future,' Size said. 'But I don't really want to test his stamina until I have to.
'He's a bit of a light horse, there's not much of him and his constitution isn't terribly tough so while he can sprint under no stress, I'll just let him do that.'
Unique Jewellery was the other Dream Team winner to catch the eye, winning his fifth race from seven starts in impressive style and the well-bred four-year-old is steaming on to what ultimately looks a Derby campaign next spring.
'His record says four wins at 1,400m so on paper he's not a 2,000m horse, but since he began racing he's been able to follow the speed and remain relaxed, so if he can do that as he goes in distance then I'm sure there'll be plenty of pressure to go towards the Derby,' Size said.
'He'll have the rating and he's a four-year-old so he'll be in the race. Today's win was nothing but a credit to him - second-up and he might have a bit more fitness improvement but he looked a different class.'
The race plan was certainly different for Unique Jewellery yesterday, with Whyte able to tuck in behind a couple of 'rabbits' in Mr Cool and Team Work, instead of getting pressure in front as he had first time out.
'Possibly it was a bit flattering because I got such a soft lead into the race but, having said that, he let down well and won with authority, and I'd love to be riding him over a mile or 1,800m,' said the jockey.
Alas that was where the kind words ended, with Size admitting Class Four stayer Perfect Match 'isn't a horse who ever travels like a winner', and Whyte branding him limited and 'too small and weak to help you out in a race', but the Demon did sign off with a word of caution.
'Just the same, he's put three good runs in a row with the blinkers and I'd never say a John Size horse can't win again - he's liable to win three races with them,' he laughed.
Douglas Whyte (below on Brilliant Chapter) maintains his solid run of form. His four wins yesterday pushed his season's tally to: 27