Khoo Won't Stop Looking For Group Success
Trainer Leslie Khoo was one of the shining lights on the Singapore training ranks during the 2011 season.
A strong finish to the year saw Khoo grab second place from six-time champion Laurie Laxon on the Trainers' Premiership table behind first-time winner Patrick Shaw.
Khoo is into only his fourth year of training in Singapore and his results have been steadily improving. He has also had a good start to the 2012 season.
However what Khoo is missing from his records so far is a Group win which he hopes won't be too far away.
He saddles-up Won't Stop in the Group 3 $200,000 Three Rings Trophy over 1400m on Sunday but admits it won't be any easy task toppling the nominal favourite Super Easy in the race restricted to the three and four-year-olds.
Ironically, for Khoo, Super Easy is owned by the Joy N Happiness Stable for which Khoo also trains and has had considerable success over the past 12 months.
While he has all but conceded this afternoon's race to Super Easy, he know his horse 'won't stop' in the run to the finishing line.
The four-year-old son of Testa Rossa goes in the race as the winner of his last three outings, including a come from behind win over 1100m on the Polytrack on February 5.
“My horse has maintained his form since his last run but how do you beat Super Easy,” said Khoo. “My horse is fit and well but he faces a difficult task in beating the other horse.
“The 1400m is OK for him but really I would prefer him on the Polytrack. That surface suits him better.”
After beginning his career across the Causeway in Malaysia, Won't Stop won two of his first three starts in Singapore – both on the Polytrack – before finishing out of the money last September.
After switching to the turf and finishing third over 1400m in October, Khoo decided on giving Won't Stop a short break before returning in December with a hat-trick of wins.
Two of those victories were over 1100m on the Polytrack while he also had success over Cash Luck in a 1400m Open Benchmark 97 Stakes over 1400m on January 6.
In reverting back to the 1100m for victory last time out, Won't Stop showed Khoo a new trick to his repertoire.
“It was an unexpected win coming from behind last time,” said Khoo. “Previously he had showed a liking for leading in his races.
“That win last time showed that he may be a bit more adaptable which might work in his favour into the future.
“We have kept him fresh for this race and Oscar rode him in a gallop on Tuesday morning and said he was fit and in good form.
“We will just get him through Sunday's race and see what happens from there.
“While I haven't won a Group race in my four years of training so far, I do think this horse is capable of giving me one in the right type of race.
“I've also got a nice bunch of new horses coming through and hopefully there might be a Group winner there as well.”
Chavez has been racking up the frequent flyer miles of late. He flew to Dubai arriving on Thursday morning to partner Captain Obvious at Meydan before catching another flight out early on Friday morning to be back in Singapore for racing that night.
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On the surface, it looked like a switch back to leading tactics proved to be a welcomed move for Mr Luck on Friday night, but trainer Desmond Koh still believes the US-bred is not necessarily a frontrunner.