In-form trainer Ricardo Le Grange was again effusive of Argentinian stock after another one of his steeds from the South American country landed the spoils on Sunday.
On Friday night, his Argentinian-bred newcomer Master Of Malibu made a cracking debut in the Initiation race over 1200m to hand him his sole winner for that meeting.
And two days later, it was another horse from the land of the gauchos and pampas to shout Ole at Kranji – a horse Le Grange calls an ‘old stalwart’, The General.
The General (Nooresh Juglall) defeats Distinctive Darci (Vlad Duric, No 4) to land the Open Benchmark 97 race, picture Singapore Turf Club
Three starts back, the South African handler would not have been so kind in his post-race comments after the Mutakddim six-year-old bombed the start in the Korea Racing Authority Trophy to beat two home, beaten nine lengths by Distinctive Darci.
The Mark Walker-trained son of Darci Brahma was again in the line-up in the $100,000 Phumelela Gaming & Leisure Limited Trophy, an Open Benchmark 97 race over 1100m on Sunday and punted down to $12 favouritism in spite of his last-start seventh to Faaltless in the Group 3 Garden City Trophy (1200m) five weeks ago, probably because he was switched back to his preferred Polytrack.
After jumping on terms this time, and following a 10-out-of-10 ride from Nooresh Juglall, the Thai-owned The General ($36), however, darted through the rails to turn the tables on Distinctive Darci.
The Mauritian jockey certainly produced a fine piece of riding to get The General across from a middle gate to end up tucked away in third behind Sebas (Alan Munro) and Effortless before quickening through a rails gap to outslug Distinctive Darci inside the last 50m.
The General was greeted to a beaming Le Grange as Patrick Shaw’s former assistant-trainer headed down to lead in his 47th winner at a remarkable first year as a trainer in his own right.
“This horse has been a stalwart for the stable. He very seldom runs a bad race,” said Le Grange.
“It’s another Argentinian horse after Master Of Malibu to win for me this weekend. He was also picked by Ignacio Pavlovsky.
“The thing about Argentinian-breds is that they adapt very well and they take quite a lot of work. They are very resilient and are equally as good on sand as they are on grass. It’s a great market to hold on to.
“Thanks to the Thai owners for having the confidence to keep this horse and it was a great ride by Nooresh, who really kept him going to the line.
“It’s also a great thrill to win a race sponsored by Phumelela as I’m South African.”
The South African link could of course also be stretched to Juglall, the two-time champion apprentice jockey from the Rainbow Nation. He did not fail to also give a nod to his own roots of Mauritius at the end of his victory speech.
“This horse has been a bit unlucky, especially at his KRA Trophy race when he badly missed the start,” said Juglall.
“It’s been frustrating but luckily, he put it together today. The trick with him is not to hit the front too early, but today he went right through with it.
“I’d like to dedicate that win to my mum and dad in Mauritius.”
The General has now brought his handy record to seven wins and 15 placings from 36 starts for stakes earnings past the $540,000 mark for the Falcon Racing Stable.