In what was one of the most
exciting finishes of the season so far, SORBETA edged out two other horses
to notch his ninth win in the Combined Classes 3 & 4 - 1500m handicap at Sungei Besi here
It also featured a battle between the two Brazilian brothers, Jose and
Laercio De Souza, who have been making Malaysia their home in the
past few years.
SORBETA, who has been in great form this season with two wins and two
seconds in his last four runs, set the early pace before LUCKY TIGER took
over at the half-way stage.
SORBETA, ridden by Laercio, regained the lead at the 400m with the leader
coming under pressure.
Meanwhile, EMPEROR TAIZONG, partnered by Jose, was looking for a run between
runners on the inside of SORBETA. SELANGOR STAR was still trying to
get into stride behind runners but already switched to the outside by
apprentice Rozi Nuqman.
EMPEROR TAIZONG collared SORBETA at the 200m and was a neck in front at one
SORBETA was determined not to be beaten and fought back gamely. SELANGOR
STAR finally got into his rhythm and was "flying" in the closing stages.
The three horses flashed past the post in a line and a photo was needed to
determine the result. SORBETA won by a nose. EMPEROR TAIZONG and SELANGOR
STAR could not be separated and shared second place.
"I didn't think we won because SELANGOR STAR was coming so fast on the
Laercio. "He just won his last start in Class 4 but was in good form
SORBETA won once in Singapore and has now picked up eight wins in Malaysia,
five times with
Laercio on board.
"He's a horse with a big heart and was well handicapped today," said
trainer Richard Lines.
Jose was able to get one back at his brother three races later when he
piloted TARGET to win the Metro A set-weight event over 1800m, with
Laercio finishing second on SKYDANCE ECLIPSE.
TARGET set the pace from the start
but was joined by SKYDANCE ECLIPSE (Laercio) on
the rails and READY TO ROCK at the 300m with the trio almost in a line.
TARGET, however raised another effort in the closing stages to win by
three-quarter of a length from SKY DANCE ECLIPSE.
"He switched off in front but got into another gear when
the challengers came inside and outside," said Jose.
"He just ran true to his last start
winning form today," said trainer Charles Leck who also saddled two other
winners today, BERRY BLISS and SMART RACER.
TARGET has now won four races for
Leck, with the American gelding also picking up one win in the UK and three