Double lifts Whiting in title race
An early battle for the Great Southern Jockeys’ Premiership is developing after Jason Whiting notched a winning double at last Friday’s meeting at the Mt Barker Turf Club.
Whiting rose to three victories for the Great Southern season after booting home Reaction and Massa Mac in consecutive races last week, one adrift of leaders Peter Knuckey and Mitchell Pateman.
Reaction was an impressive winner of the Bob and Beth Turner Maiden (1100m), sitting midfield before pouncing in the home straight to defeat Demons ‘N’ Dust by 1¼ lengths on the line.
The four-year-old improved off the back of a first-up second to Lacevinsky at Northam and trainer Des Waldock was hopeful he could progress through his grades after being placed five times before his first win.
“A good horse beat him (first-up),” Waldock said. “He’s had a few wind problems but hopefully he can continue on with it.”
The Aaron Bazeley-trained Massa Mac then produced a big finish in the Maureen and Allen Ashworth Handicap (1200m) to record a second career win and hand Whiting an early double.
Whiting settled the five-year-old near the tail of the seven-horse field and worked him to the outside where he sprinted strongly to the line to win by 2¼ lengths over Calbanesco.
It broke a 400-day winning drought for Massa Mac, who recovered from a slow start out of the barriers.
Knuckey took his winning tally in the Great Southern to four after Highfriar beat a small field of rivals in the opener, coming from fourth on the turn to score by a length.
Pateman joined Knuckey on four wins after guiding veteran stayer Toned to victory in Mt Barker.
Whiting, Peter Hall and Daniel Staeck all sit on three wins and the top five riders on the standings doesn’t include last season’s champion hoop Shaun McGruddy.
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