Big Kid Molave triumph
MANILA, Philippines — From juvenile champion just a few months back, Kid Molave wheeled in position to become a champion of champions Sunday.
The handsome colt ran down the opposition in the final two quarters under John Alvin Guce at the loose Metro Turf track in Malvar, Batangas, to win the first leg of the Triple Crown series with plenty to spare.
Guce gave the son of Into Mischief out of Unsaid the luxury of watching the pacesetters led by former conqueror Low Profile spend themselves out before making the winning move at the far turn and zooming to a two-length lead entering the final straight.
Kid Molave clocked 1 minute and 36.6 seconds broken down in 24-1/2, 22-1/2, 23, 26 for the mile to win by a length over Dixie Gold, a margin which could have been a lot bigger had Guce not held his mount back in the final strides.
“The moment we took the lead, I knew we had a great chance,” Guce said in Filipino after also winning the biggest race of his career, which was worth a whopping P1.8 million to the connections of Kid Molave.
Dixie Gold, steered by the multi-titled Ferdinand Raquel, rallied from the rear of the nine-horse pack to place second, two lengths clear of Kanlaon and Jonathan Hernandez.
Hagdang Bato pulled off the ninth Triple Crown sweep last year. Kid Molave, trained by former rider Egay Hipolito, will be gunning for the second jewel in less than a month over at Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
Pundits believe that Dixie Gold will be one of the favorites owing to his hot finish on Sunday.
The second leg will be over the lung-busting 2,000 meters, which favors stayers and punishes the sprinters.
Kid Molave’s only loss was inflicted by Low Profile in the Sweepstakes race last October.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.