3 minute read
The widest gate may have put some off but Sky Eye showed why his win in a Class 3 race over 1400m on the turf two starts back was no fluke after he prevailed again over the same trip and track in the $70,000 Emperor Max 2014 Stakes.
The son of Per Incanto had a reputation as a Polytrack sprint specialist before testing himself in Class 3 Company on the turf on Kranji Mile day (May 21) when winning well with jockey Bernardo Pinheiro on board.
Trainer Jason Lim then threw caution to the wind by stepping him up to the mile at his next start (June 4). While competitive, Sky Eye was battling late to finish fourth eventually under apprentice jockey Jerlyn Seow.
Back to 1400m in the same company and with a two kilos-claiming apprentice jockey in Krisna Thangamani atop (a late replacement for fellow apprentice jockey Iskandar Rosman who fell from Ninetysix Warrior earlier in Race 5 and was indisposed), intentions from the gate no. 12 were clear early when crossing to stalk the leader – Ironchamp (Akmazani Mazuki) - throughout in a strung-out field.
It was race on into the straight when Ironchamp kicked with Sky Eye ($33) on his tail, but the five-year-old had his measure at the 200m and under hard riding by Krisna, held off a fast-finishing So Hi Class (Shafiq Rizuan) by half-a-length with an eye-catching run from Reignite (Yusoff Fadzli), who was beaten into third another head away.
The winning time was 1 min 22.1secs over 1400m on the Short Course.
"Yes, the last time he won 1400m was quite easy but then he stepped up to 1600m. Although he ran a good race, this race came up and (we were) pretty confident actually," said Lim.
And it was a gem of a pick-up ride for young Krisna.
"He got a good speed behind the pace horse, Ironchamp," explained the apprentice jockey who is indentured to trainer Ricardo Le Grange.
"From the outside, he jumped well so I slowly followed him (Ironchamp) until the 300m and once I asked him, I got a good response and he just kept going to the winning line."
And of another try at the mile?
"I think 1400m is his best distance," said the happy hoop.
Moor to come
Jockey Daniel Moor made an immediate winning return to Singapore when he steered the James Peters-trained Fast And Fearless home in the $30,000 Mr Malek 2021 Stakes, a Class 5 race over 1100m on the Polytrack.
The visiting jockey had the $12 favourite in a striking position just off the pace throughout but when asked to go at the 300m mark, the five-year-old gelding had plenty to offer and won eased down by three-and-a-half lengths.
"I was surprised by how easy he travelled in the run because he can be a little wayward," said the Australian rider who touched down in Singapore on Saturday morning.
"But he relished the good tempo, it was an easy run in-transit and he had the form on the board.
"I'm thrilled. I love coming back here.
"Although it's only a Class 5 race, it's the happiest I've been for a long time.
"Great for James, (and I'm) happy to be back to catch up with friends and more importantly, to see the crowds back at Kranji – the vibes' coming back.
"A winner on Friday (in Australia) and then today, it's great! I'm flying off on Tuesday, but some beer and my favourite hawker food (Ga Hock Seafood) before that for sure!"
Peters' on fire
Apart from Fast And Fearless in the opener, James Peters saddled Fate To Win (Ronnie Stewart, $29) to victory in the $30,000 Titanium 2016 Stakes, a Class 5 race over 2000m.
The Englishman started the day with a strike rate of 20.43% but increased that to 21.43% with two winners from five starters and it is safe to say that no trainer is placing his horses better in 2022 than Peters.
Although no jockeys bagged more than one winner at the Stewards' Cup meeting, trainer Shane Baertschiger joined Peters with a double.
The man they call 'Stretch' put the polish on Angel Baby (Shafiq) who surprised at big odds ($224) in the $20,000 Alibi 2017 Stakes, a Maiden race over 1200m before teaming up with jockey Mohd Zaki to win the $50,000 Gingerbread Man 2012 Stakes, a Class 4 race over 1100m with Attila ($21).
The double continues a good run of form for the Australian handler, who now sits outright seventh on the trainers' premiership table with 18 wins.