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Khoo trying different strokes with Paint

The Wonderful Paint bubble might have burst at his last start, but it certainly hasn’t stopped trainer Leslie Khoo from renewing his faith in both horse and rider.

Khoo trying different strokes with Paint

The Wonderful Paint bubble might have burst at his last start, but it certainly hasn’t stopped trainer Leslie Khoo from renewing his faith in both horse and rider.

Wonderful Paint
Wonderful Paint Picture:Singapore Turf Club

In eight starts, the four-year-old grey by Darci Brahma had created a mini cult following after his four exciting come-from-behind wins, all with Singapore rising star Noh Senari aboard.


Such was the devastating manner in which Wonderful Paint stormed home that Khoo even pencilled in the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) on July 21 as the ultimate prize.

But to the Singaporean handler’s and his legion of fans’ dismay, Wonderful Paint fired blanks at his last start in a Kranji Stakes C race over 2000m on March 29.

Dropped at the rear as is his customary racing style, the gelding soon gave signs of distress when Noh got on his bike at the half-mile. When he would have gobbled up the field at that stage, it soon became evident his signature turn of foot had gone missing.

Wonderful Paint did pass a few runners, mostly tired, in the run home, but only to finish a disappointing eighth, just a little under eight lengths off the winner Sun Marshal.

On face value, some might think the bar had been raised too high or too soon, but Khoo went back to the drawing board, and is still pressing on with the Derby.

Meanwhile, Wonderful Paint will again be ridden by Noh in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1600m this Sunday.

“I think he was too far back. I didn’t tell Noh anything on the day, but the next day, I told him so and he agreed,” said Khoo.

“Noh knows the horse well, after all, he won four times on him. He’s not an easy horse to ride, but Noh knows which buttons to push.

“I had no problem putting him back on this Sunday. I just told him to ride him closer this time.

“The field was also stronger at his last race. He actually clocked a better time (2min 3.19secs) than the time he ran at his last win over 2000m (2min 4.55secs).

“He did make some ground, but they kept kicking in front and it was hard for him to catch up this time.

“The field is not as strong this Sunday. I would have preferred a 1800m race but there are no long distance races for Class 3 horses.

“He needs to keep racing to maintain his fitness levels, and the Polytrack mile should be okay for him.”

When asked if the sight of Wonderful Paint Horseform fizzling out in the home straight at his last-start defeat had him thinking he might have overrated him, Khoo sat on the fence, saying that his charge was still progressing through the grades.

“Maybe he was not ready for that level yet. The Derby is still on,” said Khoo.

“His work has been good since his last run. He galloped very well with Noh this morning.

“Of course, he will need to improve further and gain a few more points. Let’s hope he can do so this Sunday.”


Singapore Turf Club




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