Five-star Whyte delivers riding masterclass

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 March, 2012, 12:00am


Douglas Whyte started yesterday a one-to-five favourite in Jockey Challenge betting, but soon made those odds look generous with a quintet of wins, all featuring superb judgment from a rider performing with unparalleled confidence.

Whyte put on a riding clinic with the fifth five-timer of his storied career, an effort that extended his already insurmountable lead at the top of the jockeys' championship.

Whyte's star turn took him to 68 wins for the season, 32 wins clear of his nearest rival Zac Purton.

Maiden winner Champion Mount was the first of the victories, but the next four - The Peak, Go Baby Go, Wah May Star and Real Specialist all look progressive types with plenty to offer in the near future.

The John Size-trained The Peak had done everything right, but seemed to just scrape home on debut last start, yet he made stunning race-to-race improvement to dismantle a Class Four field by 2 1/2 lengths, eased down to the line.

'That was typical Size,' Whyte said. 'He was mentally and physically better for the first run ... he came out running today and knew what he was doing. And, wow , when he let down, did he go.

'On debut he was very new, but today he knew what it was about. He had a fight last time and he learned what it was about.'

Dennis Yip Chor-hong said unbeaten three-year-old Go Baby Go would step into Group company next start after he took the leap to Class Two in his stride, rattling off a fourth consecutive win up the straight.

Whyte was forced to ride his mount upside down to avoid interference from Romantic City, who the jockey had correctly predicted would hang across the track after drawing the outside rail.

'I was worried he was going to run to the inside with me ... he's done it before,' Whyte explained.

'So I asked my horse to go and get past him so I wasn't being intimidated by him. If he was able to sit behind the leader for longer, he might have been more impressive but I've had to use him ... so it was a solid effort under the circumstances.'

Both jockey and trainer praised the horse's pre-race behaviour, with the sprinter previously showing signs of nerves.

'He was mentally stabilised,' Whyte said.

Yip added: 'He was very relaxed today and because of that, in the future I think he can stay further.'

Go Baby Go's rating will jump into the 90s and the trainer said the Group Three Bauhinia Sprint Trophy (1,000m) on April 1 was his next assignment.

Real Specialist was the fifth of Whyte's wins, with the South African riding a decisive race from gate 10 on a horse who has been beaten as favourite at his last two starts.

'He has just thrown those races away,' Whyte said. 'He just loses concentration, especially when he has to knuckle down and get into a bit of a fight.

' I was more positive today on him ... he got into a nice comfortable rhythm and didn't have to do much from there.

'He is going forward and learning ... he is going to be better in time and over longer.'