Angland's contrasting wins
Tye Angland scored a double yesterday, but found himself in decidedly different situations at the furlong marker in each victory.
On one he would have been giggling to himself as he held a lap full of horse with the field stacked up behind him, and on the other he was sweating bullets facing a near-impossible task.
Angland rated front-runner Benefactor to perfection in the opener, giving rivals no chance as he cruised along in front and then let go with 200m to go to leave the field chasing.
'I got to the front easy and no-one applied any pressure at all,' Angland said. 'I tried to hold him up for as long as I could in the straight and when I let him down he showed a good turn of foot. He got there by himself and just floated ... if another horse had got to him he would have found something else.'
Trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen, who now has 11 wins, gave Angland directions to be positive from gate 10, but the jockey admitted getting a sole lead was a surprise.
A 1 1/2-length winning margin in Class Four and a career record of three from 13 might indicate the five-year-old could compete in Class Three or at the top of Class Four, but Angland expressed caution.
'The way he won today you would think so, but he can put in a bad run,' he said.
The Angland mount that overcame the near-impossible was the Andreas Schutz-trained Humongus, who seems to have a habit of finding traffic.
Angland was a victim of circumstance as he found himself last on the turn. He was positioned perfectly in the run, one-off the fence and midfield, but as the pace slackened and horses made three-wide moves, he found himself last on the turn.
Humongus was checked twice as Angland was forced to duck and weave all the way up the long straight and still faced a monumental task to gun down Rain Of Thunder once clear.
Schutz's horse prevailed by a nose with Angland pushing the gelding's head down right on the line.
'I got a bit scared at the 200m, I thought 'not again',' Schutz admitted. 'With these Class Five horses, if you haven't got a horse that can make his own way in front, you're always going to be depending on some racing luck.'
Schutz managed a double of his own when Viva Freedom broke through in race nine, taking the German's win tally to 10.