Super Whyte closes in on personal milestone
Another day, another treble for Douglas Whyte as he marches on to a 12th straight championship and what might wind up as his best-ever season - which is saying something by his standards.
The Durban Demon opened the scoring with Sean Woods' Brothers In Arms in the second, followed with O'Halo for John Size an hour later, then landed his 1,400th Hong Kong win on the Size-trained Delta Hedge in race nine.
The championships and centuries of wins tick up with monotonous regularity for Whyte, but rarer would be topping his own 114-win season record and he is right on schedule to do that. The treble took the Durban Demon to 84 victories, with 25 meetings left - 23 after serving the two-day careless riding ban he received for O'Halo, along with a HK$40,000 fine, and there is sufficient time to get the job done.
O'Halo scrambled home on the all-weather for his breakthrough victory after finishing second at his first run on the surface, but Whyte was less than flattering in his assessment.
'Last time he had the race in the bag and tossed it away and, if the winning post wasn't exactly where it was today, he would have run second or third. He went by them to win by a length, length and a half and then his head came up,' Whyte said.
Whyte gave all the credit for Delta Hedge to the trainer.
'I just had to sit on him and steer. I rode him at Happy Valley at 1,800m and we were of the opinion he didn't stay it. And on the turf he doesn't,' Whyte said. 'But John felt he would handle the dirt and would handle this distance on the surface. When you get a cushy run and the horse goes through this all-weather as well as beautifully as he did, they can get a little bit further than you expect.'