Trainer Theo Kieser and jockey Danny Beasley teamed up for a winning double on Sunday, with both victories recorded by odds-on favourites with a penchant for go-all- the-way racing patterns.
The pair first got on the board with $8 fancy Dragon Spirit who was never in doubt once Beasley had him travelling on the bit in the lead in a Kranji Stakes C race (Race 5).
Kieser did not saddle a runner until Goal Keeper in the $95,000 Open Benchmark 89 race over 1100m on Polytrack, and again entrusted the reins to Beasley, who elected for leading tactics in almost carbon-copy style.
Goal Keeper (Danny Beasley) brings up a winning hat-trick on Sunday.
The only variance to the script was the outermost alley drawn by $9 favourite Goal Keeper compared to the inside gate (No 2) Dragon Spirit broke from. Beasley had to hunt up the three-year-old son of Untouchable in search of the rails, which they secured rather easily after only 100m.
The Bruce Marsh-trained Red Beard (Opie Bosson), who was making his racing comeback after six months and was at his first Polytrack test, was surprisingly – being a noted backmarker - the next one in line, followed by Finderskeepers (Shafiq Rizuan) and Kaiser (Soo Khoon Beng).
Upfront, Goal Keeper bowled along at a steady tempo to turn for home showing his rivals a clean set of heels. Despite being overweight by 22kg and in bad need of the run, Red Beard was the one shaping up as the immediate danger as he tried to cut Goal Keeper back.
The Zenno Rob Roy four-year-old tried valiantly, but the speedy customer three lengths in advance of him was just too slippery as Goal Keeper kept kicking and proved impossible to peg back.
Red Beard still made some ground to whittle the beaten margin down to only two lengths in the end while Running Tall (Barend Vorster) chimed in late to take third spot, a further gap of just under four lengths away. The winning time was a slick 1min 4.78secs which is only 0.24 second outside Birthday Gift’s record.
Beasley paid full credit to Kieser for the way he turns out his horses in faultless condition on raceday.
“That is Theo’s trademark. He just gets his horses so fit and ready all the time,” said the Australian jockey.
“They both won in the same style and they both have great speed. All I have to do is jump on them and rate them.
“Such horses just make your job so much easier. They just make their own luck.”
Beasley, who has now ridden Goal Keeper three times for two of his tally of six wins, was effusive of the gallant sprinter’s effort.
“I rode him a few starts back, but gee, he’s improved so much since then, especially his barrier manners,” said Beasley who went on to ride a four-timer when he rode Full Toss and Lucky Xuan to victory in the next two races to consolidate his second place on the jockey’s log on 38 winners, but a whopping margin of 58 winners behind runaway leader Joao Moreira, who returns from suspension next week.
“He used to miss the start a little, but today he just flew out of the gates. I knew the race was over after only 100m.
“I had him travelling so relaxed that I knew he would be hard to beat, but the second horse (Red Beard) ran very well considering he was first-up.
“The distance also suited my horse better, but I sure would not want to run up against Red Beard next time out.”
Kieser said he had not planned anything specific for Goal Keeper, who has now bulged his earnings to close to $260,000 for his owner Sam Chee Kiong.
“At this stage, I will keep him to sprint races and just see what’s available for him,” said the South African handler. “It will all depend on the handicap – how much he is penalised by.
“From his wide barrier, he had no other option but to go forward, but I have to say I was quite impressed by his timing considering the track was rated as a bit soft.”