Size gets monkey off his back
Laidback trainer ends frustrating 37-race losing streak with a much-needed double from still-green Keep-A-Pin and genuine Fulfil A Wish
Champion trainer John Size emerged from a rare and frustrating run of outs with a double yesterday but took it all with his usual laidback aplomb.
Before Keep-A-Pin (Douglas Whyte) took out the sixth event, Size had gone 37 runners without a winner since Real Specialist on international day - his longest losing streak for almost 3-1/2 years - but even more frustrating had been where his runners were finishing.
Of those 37 losing runners, 26 had run second, third or fourth, but Size was taking a glass half-full view of that after breaking the cold streak.
"Well, one thing about the horses that are running well but not quite winning is that you know those are the sort of performances that will turn into winners soon enough. I'd be more concerned if they were being well beaten," Size said, after adding Fulfil A Wish (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) in the final race to complete a double.
Three-year-old Keep-A-Pin was certainly your typical "writing on the wall" job when he resumed with a close third to Why Not on New Year's Day and Size and Whyte said the youngster had made giant strides since his three modest juvenile runs last term.
"He was a bit slow coming and I was happy to race him as a two-year-old because he gave every indication that he had some ability but needed the experience," said Size. "I think he still does, but he knows more about it this season and he's a stronger horse now after the break and he's able to give us more than he could last year. And it's still hard to know what he will be capable of doing, because he's still so green, but it's nice to get a win out of the way with him."
Whyte said Size had "transformed" Keep-A-Pin, who had been a young horse doing everything wrong last season.
"He used to just grab the bit and want to run, he really wasn't very tractable and just did everything wrong," he said. "Even first-up, he was a bit wayward but he's learning and becoming more of a gentleman to handle. He had the perfect run through today but won with some purpose."
It was the bright spot in the day for Whyte, who managed the lone win, while arch-rival Zac Purton grabbed a four-timer, but the Size-trained Fulfil A Wish gave the yard a second success when he made his own luck in the last event while others behind were having none.
"He's very genuine, and a tough horse. He helps himself by being up on the pace and he does run for the claiming riders, which is a big help in this system where every pound counts," Size said.
"There might have been a couple of unlucky ones behind him today but that's what you get with Fulfil A Wish. He's makes his own luck and he's there to pick up the pieces if it falls his way."