Brazilian hotshot hits five-timer
Altair, final leg of his winning quintet, sets new course record for Poly 1,100m
Just three weeks after his career-best of seven winners in a day, Brazilian jockey Ruan Maia was in his element again - booting home five winners on Saturday at Kranji.
With in-form leading jockey Vlad Duric suspended for careless riding, the 32-year-old has narrowed the gap to 11 winners in the premiership table with his 37-winner tally.
Three-time champion Duric will sit out another race day, giving red-hot Maia the opportunity to close in further at this Saturday's Kranji meeting.
Maia's Magnificent Seven on Aug 23 were El Chapo, The Mareeba Mango, Moon Face, Meryl, Ararat Lady, Elite Power and Gamely.
The Cliff Brown-trained Moon Face made it two-up in Race 3 with another authoritative win to kickstart Maia's five-timer.
It was in another Class 4 event over the Polytrack 1,200m by three lengths in 1min 10.78sec, despite carrying 3kg extra, with 58.5kg.
The track was wet on Saturday, which seemed to favour the horses in front.
Like Moon Face, Maia's three other winners - newcomer Blue Blood (Race 5), Aramani (Race 9) and Altair (Race 11) - also led all the way. His other winner, Retallica (Race 10), just sat behind the leader Dreamweaver, before hitting the front on straightening to win from the late-closing Rapid Fire.
Maia's handling of Altair was a beauty. He managed to cross in effortlesly from the outer-most barrier to lead easily.
He was unperturbed when last-start winner Ararat Lady came up to eyeball him in the middle stages of the Polytrack 1,100m event.
He then kicked away from the top of the straight to win in 1min 03.76sec, shaving 0.21sec off Autumn Assault's record set last year.
"It's taken a while for Altair to come up this prep. We put a set of visors on for the first time, and it seems to have sharpened him up," said trainer Mark Walker.