Determined Whyte cuts Purton's lead to one
Douglas Whyte had to follow Zac Purton home in the afternoon's feature race but the Durban Demon was in winning form through the rest of the card, with a three-timer that closed the gap between the two at the head of the jockeys' championship to one win.
Purton's Gold Cup win on Military Attack kept his nose in front, but Whyte knocked in Little Men for John Size, despite giving backers heart palpitations again, then closed the meeting with a double for Dennis Yip Chor-hong on All You Wish and Gurus Dream.
Little Men had been a good thing beaten at odds-on at his previous run and it looked on the cards again when he flopped out of the gates at odds-on.
"When he's in there for a short time he gets very claustrophobic and starts to mess around. He's a big horse and you can't bully him so when you then straighten his head and correct him, he resents it and fights you, and the gates open and he comes out fly-leaping and can't get momentum," Whyte said.
"Fortunately we had a good draw today and he was able to get into the brace again. The other day he did it from a wide draw and I just had no choice but go back then he got stuck in traffic. Knowing John, he'll take the time and sort it out because it's going to get him beaten one day - actually it already has!"
Whyte was singing the praises of his winners for Yip, with Gurus Dream now fully recovered both physically and mentally from the fall last February that kept him out of action for almost a year.
"I guess things happen for a reason. I did a lot of work with this horse when he first came here and he was always quite a light, feminine sort of horse and he still is a bit narrow, but he has blossomed and put on some substance with that time off," Whyte said.
"And he was also quite toey before but now he walks around calmly in the mornings and in the parade yard, so it has helped him and he's certainly got an engine. His last run was full of credit, I think he's digested that, his confidence is back and he's over the fall now. He's a proper horse and he'll step up from here."
And some of those comments could apply to three-year-old All You Wish, who made it two wins from three starts race but is on the light side himself.
"He gave me a great feel winning first-up, then I think the 133 pounds told on him last start. I made the effort to get down to a light weight to ride him, Dennis had him fresher and he produced the goods," Whyte said. "He said he wants to continue to keep his runs well spaced and I think that's the right plan. If he was asked to back up too quickly, I reckon he'd crumple. But, with patience, six months or a year from now, he'll be a nice horse."