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Picture: Ryan Munger and Arlington Action make it three wins on the trot. They catch White Fang in the last stride for the second time in succession. (JC Photos).

The ride of the weekend in South Africa could well have been by Ryan Munger on the Tyrone Zackey-trained Arlington Action (The Apache). 
Overseas, William Buick produced a masterful ride on the same day.
Munger used his knowledge of the Turffontein Inside racecourse, the knowledge of his horse and the knowledge of the opposition to produce a perfectly timed finish in the 2600m event.
He also possibly used his knowledge of handicapping and trainer Zackey helped the cause by putting in a pacemaker.
In the four-year-old gelding’s previous start on September 15 over the same course and distance he had received 6kg from White Fang and beaten him by a neck.
They faced each other on the same relative weight terms on Saturday, but this meant that the one year younger Arlington Action was half-a-kilogram better off,  taking into account that the weight for age scale shows he should have improved by half-kilogram from his last start. 
In that previous race White Fang had an easy lead and and used his big stride to stretch for home.
However, Munger noticeably remained patient until the 400m mark before letting his mount go.
This would suggest that Arlington Action has a relatively short run in.

White Fang tired right at the end and Arlington Action was only just able to catch him, having run on resolutely.

On Saturday White Fang did not have it as easy as last time with the pace being set by Arlington Action’s stablemate Indian War Dance.

White Fang was forced to go around the latter coming into the straight and appeared to do a bit too much coming up the hill. 

Once again Munger, who had found himself a handy position from pole position, remained patient.

He was not lured into action until the 400m mark, despite the sight of the big White Fang and his huge stride stretching into a significant lead.

Munger must have been inwardly confident of victory this time.

He would have noticed White Fang’s energy sapping manouevre coming up the hill, as opposed to the easy lead he had had in their previous encounter, and he might also have been aware of the half-a-kilogram in his favour.

Arlington Action once again overtook the tiring White Fang in the last stride, but this time won by a quarter of a length and always looked likely to get there, unlike last time.


William Buick

Overseas William Buick also produced a masterful ride on Saturday at Newmarket on the favourite Desert Order in the Too Darn Hot Nursery Handicap over seven furlongs.

Cieran Fallion, the son of the genius rider Kieren Fallon, who was never far from controversy, took race-riding to the limit in this race.

He took up Buick’s running on the nearside rail not far into the race, a move which could have raised a few eyebrows, and it left Desert Order boxed in. 

At the business end a gap opened and Buick started moving through, only for Fallon’s mount to promptly close it.

In a breathtakingly skillful manouevre Buick managed to ease his mount back and switch him almost simultaneously before powering home to just get up.

Fallon reported his mount had hung in under pressure.

That might have helped him  escape any punishment.

However, Buick did at least have the last laugh. 


Buick’s 156 winners this season is more than 60 clear of nearest title challenger Hollie Doyle and higher than the winning total in six of the seven years since the championship was shortened to its Guineas-Champions Day timeframe in 2015.