Whiz Fizz pops up for Peters’ Argentinian babies

Whiz Fizz (Juan Paul van der Merwe) off to a smart winning debut in Singapore on Sunday.

By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

English trainer James Peters had learned to curb his enthusiasm from the glowing trackwork form shown by his Argentinian babies thus far, but Whiz Fizz finally bucked that trend, much to his great delight on Sunday.

Forward enough in his workouts and barrier trials (won the last one on January 28), the grey three-year-old by just-deceased stallion Orpen franked that form at his debut run in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1100m, unlike his other Hardwicke Racing Club stablemates like Tesoro Pirata and Pini Pons, all unable to live up to the early promise shown on the tracks.

Bustled up early from his wide alley to go and sit outside leader Bad Boy Black (Joseph See), Whiz Fizz ($76) was quick to put in the big bounds the moment jockey Juan Paul van der Merwe slipped some rein at the top of the straight.

The issue was put beyond doubt as he skipped clear to a two-length win from the fast-closing Con Speranza (Krisna Thangamani), another newcomer, with Fighting Hero (John Powell) third another one length away. The winning time was 1min 5.35secs for the 1100m on Polytrack.

“To be honest, I’ve been left scratching my head with those Argentinian horses,” said Peters.

“They all work well, but that form is not translated on raceday. That’s why I was apprehensive about this one as well as he’s also showed us ability on the tracks.

“He had some niggly issues like shinsoreness and he was backed off a couple of times. But he’s obviously come good really well.

“Whatever he did today, he will improve on fitness-wise. He’s still new and he’s a very nice prospect for the stable.

“A big thank you to Justin Vermaak who picked this horse and manages this racing group.”

Van der Merwe is a close friend of the fellow South African racing manager, and was chuffed he had ridden a first winner for him.

“I was riding in Mauritius when Justin started to race horses back home. I know him more as a friend, this is my first winner for him,” said the South African jockey.

“The horse had a wide draw, he jumped okay and I had to wake him up a little but he was able to get a nice spot outside the leader.

“He travelled well. I thought he went to the front too early, he had his ears pricked and was looking around, but the ability is there.”

Whiz Fizz is among a group of six Argentinian horses who made the headlines for the wrong reasons last year when they were caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. The plane they boarded in Rio de Janeiro to fly to Singapore was grounded in a drug bust, which delayed their flight, but all was well that ended well with another plane organised to ship them to their intended destination.

Mandrake, the only tried horse in the lot, has already won one race, but Whiz Fizz is the first of the unraced batch to salute.

Author: iRace