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Douglas Whyte’s faith vindicated as Carroll Street emerges as a quality prospect

May 13, 2021, 6:56:10 AM

Douglas Whyte believes Carroll Street will turn into a serious sprinting prospect for next season after the youngster dominated talented opposition in the Class 3 Grass Island Handicap (1000m) at Sha Tin on Wednesday night (12 May).

The Outreach gelding delivered on the rich pledge Whyte still believed the three-year-old possessed, clocking 55.36s – nearly a second quicker than normal – in the first turf race under lights at Sha Tin since 2014.

“He's been more and better all the time. Since his first run, the writing has been on the wall in terms of what he is capable of. He hasn't been the most flashy up until tonight, but I've seen all along what talent he has,” Whyte said after the three-year-old won his third race in a row.

“He is a very young person. He just wanted more patience, and he's definitely finding his way now.”

Carroll Street, carrying 117lb after Jerry Chau's five-pound assert, sped clear of Winner Method (132lb) to cause the 1.3 favourite's first loss in four starts.

As Whyte recognized the importance of the 15lb weight difference, Chau seemed to take special pleasure after a calm, fence-hugging ride on Carroll Street to record his 41st victory of the season.

“You should never come here and be overconfident, but at the weights, I realized I had a good chance,” the South African said. “He's just three years old and he's done a good job – I'll evaluate him, but I'd prefer to save him and get him back next season.”

“He's done it correctly from the start – physically, he hasn't even awoken yet. He's a newborn. He'll love some downtime now that I know what he's physically capable of. He'll be a good candidate for next year.

“What pleased me the most tonight was the fact that he could lie down with them and not move. He's been a little erratic out of the doors, and it's difficult to stand up in class and give ground.”

Britney Wong, a Racing Development Board trainee who has done a lot of educational work with Carroll Street, received recognition from Whyte.

“A special thanks to Britney, a very young trainee who works for the stable and comes in every day. She does all of the slow work on him, and it's nice to have someone like young as that as a stable member who gets to ride a horse like that every day and give you positive feedback,” Whyte added.

Jerry Chau extended his remarkable mid-week strike rate with a race-to-race double aboard Michael Chang's Gallant Legacy in the second division of the Class 4 Ninepin Group Handicap (dirt, 1200m), following a treble at Happy Valley last Wednesday (5 May).

Gold Comet was dubbed a "progressive horse" by Tony Millard after he spreadeagled the field under Joao Moreira to win the Class 4 Tiu Chung Chau Handicap (dirt, 1650m) by nine lengths in a class record time of 1m 37.76s.

Gold Comet, a half-brother to former champion Invasor, who won the Uruguayan Triple Crown in 2005 before going on to win the 2006 G1 Breeders' Cup Classic (dirt, 2000m) at Churchill Downs, Kentucky and the 2007 G1 Dubai World Cup (dirt, 2000m), was purchased for HK$3.2 million last year.

“He's a half-brother to a champion stud, and it's great to have an ISG (International Sale Graduate) like this,” Millard said.

“I believe this is a forward-thinking horse. He's going to improve. He's definitely reaching his stride now, and he's a lovely horse.”

Moreira secured a fourth jockeys' championship with a double after Dennis Yip's Super Winner won the Class 3 Kau Sai Chau Handicap (1400m).

When Benno Yung's Striking Mr C won the first part of the Class 4 Ninepin Group Handicap, Derek Leung tied his personal record of 37 victories in a season (dirt, 1200m). Leung previously had 37 victories in 2017/18.

Karis Teetan extended his lead as the most effective rider on Sha Tin's dirt circuit this season with a double, first winning the Class 5 Tung Lung Chau Handicap (dirt, 1200m) aboard Ricky Yiu's Jade Theatre before winning the Class 3 Kat O Handicap aboard Jimmy Ting's Man Star (dirt, 1200m).

The 'Mauritian Magician' increased his season total to 13, two more than Zac Purton, whose mount he rode. On medical advice, the Abraxas kicked at the barriers.

Purton bounced back quickly from the defeat of the first meeting, partnering Fairy Floss to an emphatic victory in the Class 5 Waglan Island Handicap (dirt, 1800m) over Dragon Commander – the horse Fairy Floss had a dead heat with in February.

On Sunday, racing in Hong Kong resumes at Sha Tin (16 May).