What looked like an extremely competitive Kranji Stakes C fell easily to Martincho Cat from Patrick Shaw’s stable.
Out of the gates at the 1700m start, it was Full Toss and Bieber who went on. Martincho Cat, with blinkers on, was allowed to slot in behind the leaders by Barend Vorster in a pace that while not quick, was even all the way to the final bend.
Martincho Cat wins with the blinkers on, picture Singapore Turf Club
Up the straight, Barend Vorster turned three wide and despite doing so was on the heels of the leader. Here, even to the most uninitiated, it was clear as to what was going to happen next.
Vorster gave Martincho Cat some rein and in a matter of strides, the race was over. Martincho Cat quickened away and won absolutely trouble-free with a promise of more to come.
"I know him so well. From day one, he’s been such a difficult horse,” began Vorster when asked how much better he was for the change of equipment."
“We did try the winkers earlier but he was so difficult in the barriers. So we took everything off first and only then put the blinkers on after deciding that he did need some encouragement."
“The blinkers really helped him tonight. He was nice and quiet through the race. He didn’t look to hang left or right in the straight as he normally does."
“He’s really improving and from here on and you can look at some distance races for him,” said Vorster.
Patrick Shaw provided an insight to how difficult this horse has been to manage. “He traveled better with the blinkers today but he’s still a difficult horse to ride."
“He seems to want to throw his head about and hang out but that’s been from day one."
“At least today, Barend said that he concentrated and when he pressed the button, he was there."
“We decided not to jump him too keen with the blinkers on for the first time. You never know how keen they’ll get."
“Barend just wanted him to sit quietly and since we knew that the pace would come from the inside it worked out for us."
“I always thought highly of him but he had bad barrier manners .In fact he went under the barrier and fractured his knee so badly that we had to put two screws in his knee. I’ll just see how he pulls up before deciding where we go next with him,” ended Shaw.
Marticho Cat is a son of Easing Along by Storm Cat and has won his third start at Kranji.