Racing: Shaw moves up second with Yes Baba

While Joao Moreira has made it a one-act affair in this year's jockeys' premiership quest, the battle for training supremacy has certainly turned into an exciting affair.

Three trainers - seven-time champion Laurie Laxon, Michael Freedman and long-time leader Mark Walker - went into last Friday's meeting level at 47 winners, with 2011 champion Patrick Shaw just two winners behind.

Laxon saddled two winners with two runners on Friday, Daniel and Huka Falls, to hit the front with 49 winners.

Shaw also sent out two winners, Premier Grade and Bale Star, to rank alongside Freedman and Walker at 47 winners apiece.

Laxon failed to land a winner with five runners yesterday. Walker and Freedman also failed with six and five runners respectively.

Shaw, on the other hand, managed to rope in a winner to move one ahead of Walker and Freedman and just one behind Laxon.

The South African was successful with his day's first of five runners, YES BABA, who lived up to his track form and overcame a wide barrier (No. 11) under Moreira to take the Class 4 Perak Turf Club Trophy event over 1,600m on the Polytrack in Race 5.

On his latest surge, Shaw said: "Yeah, at the moment, the horses are all well placed. They are getting into their places now. I can't complain. I've had a good year."

It was a lovely ride by Moreira on Yes Baba, who finished unplaced in his last two starts when also drawn very wide.

The three-time Singapore champion deftly secured an inside box-seat run behind Lonesome Me and American Vision.

Yes Baba, who started as the $11 favourite, attacked the leader on straightening and soon pulled clear to win by 2½ lengths under vigorous riding.

Said Moreira: "He put himself on the inside. It's always good, you know. But he's the type of horse that made me feel that I wasn't fit, you know.

"I had to work him from the 1,000m. He's such a lazy horse but, you know, he was too good for them, and it was a pleasure to ride another winner for Patrick Shaw."


Two races later, Moreira was again in the winner's enclosure after the Open Benchmark 61 Selangor Turf Club Trophy over 1,800m on the Polytrack aboard the Cliff Brown-trained BUNGAE, who won over the same distance and surface last time out with Alan Munro astride.

Moreira gave his mount a good start but saved him up by sitting a handy fourth early. He had already moved up third behind outsider Caution and South Gate on straightening.

South Gate hit the front first and looked good but Bungae responded to Moreira's riding to win by 1¾ lengths to pay $24.

Said Moreira: "He showed even before the race that he was going to be very competitive. He had his chance of winning.

"Cliff gave me such an easy instruction: just be where he is happy to be. I was able to come back a length or two after we jumped out.

"I put him on the inside close to the fence and saved ground. That certainly helped him a lot to win the race.

"Cliff has done a great job to improve him so much since I rode him, like probably seven to eight months ago."

Moreira also took the opening race on the Leslie Khoo-trained EASY MAN ($13).

He has now brought his season's tally to 136 winners, 78 in front of fellow Brazilian Manoel Nunes, who scored on the Tan Hor Khoon-trained JUST GOOD ($22) in Race 4.

Moreira was on the $8 favourite Golden Sand Steed in the Kranji Stakes C Penang Turf Club Trophy over 1,200m on the Polytrack in Race 9, but he could only finish third behind the Barend Vorster-ridden SUPERNOVA.

Both horses were abreast turning for home behind Terminator, who led from Honest Truth, Benji's Empire and Empire Bay.

Terminator, who had kicked clear in the straight, looked headed for victory when Supernova unleashed a strong win by ¾ length.

Trained by Bruce Marsh, the $39 winner has now won five of his nine starts.

Said Marsh: "Yes, he's a very honest horse, so I think he'll keep improving."

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