Noble Manor Wins Battle

Pencarrow bred Noble Manor (Stravinsky x Sarwatch, by Jetball) provided young Kiwi jockey James McDonald with his first winning ride in Singapore on Friday night in a dazzling display of speed in the feature Class 2 Handicap (1200m).

To McDonald’s credit Noble Manor sat off the speed in a relaxed position five back on the fence. Rounding the home bend McDonald eased off heels and pulled out centre track where he produced a terrific turn of foot to flash by Mooring and Amadeus Mozart to win by a length and a half.

Trained by Laurie Laxon for Peter and Philip Vela, Mark Wyborn and Trevor Farmer, Noble Manor turned the tables on Mooring (Bel Esprit) who had beaten him in the first leg of the 3YO Challenge Series (1200m), a change in fortunes that can be put down to his newly learnt ability to settle off the pace and race within himself.

Now racing with tactical versatility, Noble Manor looks as though he will provide many more race thrills for connections who will be looking to build upon his already considerable $280,000 in stake-money.

Fellow Pencarrow-bred Break Free kept his consistent record intact finishing fifth, four lengths from the winner.

After his first winning ride McDonald, who won the New Zealand Jockey’s Premiership with 125 winners last season, said his decision to come to Singapore was based on gaining more experience.

“It is not a busy time at the moment back home and I thought it was a good opportunity to come up here and get some more experience,” said McDonald.

“I’ve been very lucky that Mr Laxon and other trainers have given me rides and supported me over the weekend.”

McDonald said Laxon had not been specific with any instructions aboard Noble Manor, other than to keep him settled.

“I was able to get him to settle nicely and when I was able to get him clear he did show a good turn of foot,” said McDonald.

Noble Manor’s Group 2 winning dam Sarwatch is due to foal to O’Reilly at Pencarrow Stud this season.