Rocketship leads Le Grange-Mendoza 1-2

Hot favourite Rocketship franked the promising form shown at her first couple of starts to break through for her maiden win in style in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden (1200m) on Sunday.

ROCKETSHIP winning the RESTRICTED MAIDEN
ROCKETSHIP winning the RESTRICTED MAIDEN Picture: Singapore Turf Club

Third at her first two starts back in June, including the latest in Novice company, the Ricardo Le Grange-trained and Paolo Mendoza-owned US-bred three-year-old filly by Into Mischief came with a nice turn of foot to leave her $9 backers without any doubt which way the outcome of their investment was heading.

After revealing precious little at his only start, Le Grange's second runner Dragon Tycoon (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) showed remarkable improvement second-up to claim second place. The Written Tycoon three-year-old, who is also raced by Mendoza, enjoyed a lovely cart off Rocketship  throughout, and did try to lay a glove on his stablemate inside the last 200m, but had to eventually play second fiddle three-quarter length away for a stable quinella.

Steven Burridge's and Dr Tan Kai Chah's Hippocrates Stable's Oud Wood (Iskandar Rosman) turned in his best run in eight starts to-date to clinch his first runner-up cheque in third place another one and a half lengths away. At one stage up the home straight, the Hippocrates' yellow and purple checked colours looked in hot contention for victory with the James Peters-trained Dragon Sands (Marc Lerner) also sneaking up on the rails, but the pair were outsprinted by Mendoza's with Dragon Sands peaking on his run to finish fifth, beaten a nose into fourth place by Northern Star (Koh Teck Huat).

The winning time was 1min 11.43secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.

"I'm very happy with the win. She showed ability from the start, but she's a young filly who's still growing," said Le Grange.

"She's still doing a couple of things wrong. There's still a lot of maturing to do.

"Jimmy (Wong) told me after the race that she will get more ground – 1400m to 1600m. She's an easy horse to ride.

"Jimmy gave her a perfect ride behind the speed. When they ran along upfront, Jimmy was happy to sit off the pace and once she saw daylight, she was too good.

"Dragon Tycoon  also ran a nice race. First-up, he ran on a soft track and he didn't enjoy himself.

"He improved tremendously today, and he did show improvement at his trial last week (July 21). His dam (Baroness Gabriella) is a half-sister to Volkstok​'n'barrell, Donna Logan's former champion, so I think he'll turn into a nice horse here."

Le Grange also expressed his gratitude towards owners like Mendoza, who is from the Philippines, and took over the horses raced by his late father Rodolfo.

"A big thank you to Paolo. I'm very happy with our quinella today," said Le Grange.

"I have to thank owners like Paolo, who continuously support us by putting money in our racing. Without them, we would have no racing."

Rocketship's earnings have already exceeded the $50,000 mark with that first success in three starts for Mendoza.


Singapore Turf Club