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Longines Hong Kong International Races 2016

Douglas Whyte closer to International Jockeys' Championship spot after double

The 'Durban Demon' moved to second in the title with wins on Magical Beauty and Travel Renyi

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 November, 2015, 12:13am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 November, 2015, 12:25am

Douglas Whyte put himself in the driver's seat for selection as the Hong Kong number two in next month's Longines International Jockeys' Championship with a winning double at Sha Tin.

GALLERY: Check out Kenneth Chan's photos from international trial day

Whyte combined with the trainer of the day, Tony Cruz to provide the first of his four winners in Magical Beauty in the second race and added a second for Richard Gibson on Travel Renyi in the second-last.

That gave Whyte a one-win lead over Brett Prebble and two over Zac Purton, with their order after this Wednesday at Happy Valley the criterion for choosing the Hong Kong reps, although the significance was lessened slightly last week with the announcement that Hong Kong would have as many as four representatives in the series.

Magical Beauty had been well bet and beaten in all five prior runs at shorter distances but a step in trip to 1,400m was crucial.

"I thought he felt like quite a dour horse, a real one-pacer," said Whyte, having his first ride on the four-year-old. "So I was deliberately aggressive out of the gates and put him up outside the leader. When I asked him to kick, he was just as I'd expected and he kept going and the further he went the more he enjoyed it. I think he'll be better going to a mile now too."

Gibson-trained Travel Renyi had also felt the need for more ground and Whyte said the difference for him at 1,400m was chalk and cheese.

"In the 1,200m races, he never felt that comfortable but today he travelled sweetly in the different tempo," the jockey said.

Gibson said the five-year-old was still improving despite his age.

"He hasn't run many times and I don't think we have got to the end of him yet. If you recall, last season he was hanging in races, he isn't doing that now and he is still getting better," he said. "Douglas got the ride exactly right today and we saw what the horse can do."