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Short trip for Columbus first before charting new lands

Trainer Desmond Koh’s smart debut winner Columbus makes a bold attempt at back-to-back wins when he takes on stronger opposition in the $60,000 Class 4 race over 1200m on Friday night.

Short trip for Columbus first before charting new lands

Trainer Desmond Koh’s smart debut winner Columbus makes a bold attempt at back-to-back wins when he takes on stronger opposition in the $60,000 Class 4 race over 1200m on Friday night.

Columbus looking in mint condition during his walk on Thursday afternoon.
Columbus looking in mint condition during his walk on Thursday afternoon. Picture:Singapore Turf Club

The three-year-old son of former failed French import Ruwi (six unplaced runs in as many starts for the same Koh in Singapore, including the Singapore Airlines International Cup) franked his decent barrier trial form with a come-from-behind win in an Open Maiden race over 1200m on July 23.


Ridden by Malaysian jockey Saifudin Ismail, Columbus was a little caught on a limb three wide after springing out of his awkward alley, but was able to tuck into an one-out one-back spot before being produced for his run at the 400m.

As favourite Enhancement (Craig Grylls) capitulated, roughie Bring Me Joy (Zuriman Zulkifli) tried to sneak in on the rails, but Columbus Horseform was off and gone and had already made a safe landing.

Koh is bringing the Million Stable (same owner as Million Round) owned gelding back three weeks later, but remained cautious about the next assignment even if the debut victory does suggest his new ward was not without ability.

“He seems to have maintained his form. He did everything right at his first run and has pulled up well,” said the Singaporean handler.

“On breeding, he should get more ground but I will wait for a while before stepping him up in distance. This Class 4 race over 1200m was just nice second-up.

“Whether he will go on with the job tonight, we’ll see. It’s no doubt a tougher field with some tough Class 4 warriors like Rich Fortune.

“He is also going over Polytrack for the first time, but Saifudin knows the horse well and rides him in trackwork. I’ll leave the riding to him.”

The US-trained conditioner, who likes all things American, said he was the one who gave the Australian-bred the name of the famous Italian explorer credited for discovering America.

“I gave the name Columbus. I thought it was a cool name,” said Koh who is known for his penchant for exotic tribal names from the Americas like Congo Zandor and Guaricana in the past.

Saifudin, whose last win – his fourth this term - actually came aboard Columbus, was looking forward to the gelding’s second outing.

“Normally a horse should improve after a first run and I would say this horse has definitely improved,” said the veteran Malaysian jockey.

“From the way he jumped from a wide barrier at his first race and got a nice spot after that, I think the better draw (four) this time round will help him in a big way.

“I’ve galloped him a few times since the first run and I was very happy with his last gallop on Tuesday with another horse. He is a more steady horse now.

“I think he has a good chance.”
Singapore Turf Club



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