Double dead-heat for Derreck David

Three races have ended at Kranji and five winners have saluted the judge.

Sorry, trivia buffs, we did not record out first triple dead-heat at Kranji, but it was still a rare phenomenon not seen in the annals of Singapore racing for a long time – back-to-back dead-heats.

Shortly after Lim’s Pershing and Little Master could not be split in Race 2 (see previous report), another dead-heat was in the works in the very next race, the $80,000 War Affair 2014 Stakes, an Open Benchmark 74 race over 1800m, when Mighty Kenny and Makanani finished locked together with the judge again semaphoring the “DH” sign on the electronic board.

The other singular fact which would have record hunters digging deep into their records was Derreck David being the winning jockey in both races. The South African rider was aboard Lim’s Pershing and Makanani. He later sealed a hat-trick of wins when he scored aboard Flash One in the $38,000 Always Certain 2011 Stakes, a Kranji Stakes D Division 1 race over 1200m.

Mighty Kenny (Nooresh Juglall, black cap) and Makanani (Derreck David, yellow blinkers) wear down
Show Far Show Good (Vlad Duric, on the rails) to dead-heat for first in Race 3.

The Japanese-bred and Hideyuki Takaoka-trained Makanani ($23) was whacking away with every stride as she tried to peg back leader Show Far Show Good (Vlad Duric), and just when she had it covered a few hops away from the line, the Ricardo Le Grange-trained Mighty Kenny (Nooresh Juglall, $46) swooped down late on the outside to halve the joy at the eleventh hour.

In a close go, Show Far Show Good on the inside just missed out by a short head to make it a historic triple dead-heat. The winning time was 1min 47.94secs for the 1800m on the Long Course.

“I’m not sure if it’s a record but it is certainly one for me,” said David about his rare feat.

“I’m so grateful to Mr Takaoka who has been my sole supporter for a long time. This filly is very talented even if she has lost her way in recent months.

“But she’s only a three-year-old and she can keep improving. I was happy to settle her outside the leader as she drops the bit when she comes back in and she then loses the plot.

“She dug down deep and it was a great result to get two dead-heats. Thanks to the Singapore Turf Club for the opportunity and for putting on a magnificent show today.

“I’m grateful to ride here, and more so on a Group 1 (Raffles Cup) raceday.”

His colleague and fellow South African Jockey Academy graduate Nooresh Juglall was equally delighted with the happy outcome even if he had to take turns to pose for the camera at the winner’s area.

“I had a great spot on the rails at the rear even if the two horses in front were not coming back. Once he saw daylight, he lengthened up really well,” said the in-form Juglall.

“It was a great effort as he was giving them weight. The 1800m on the Long Course is also not ideal for him as he’s more of a miler

“A big thanks to Mark and Emily Yong for the opportunity.”

Le Grange remembered the Mighty Kenny’s bloodines with a touch of emotion as he led in his 54th winner (no half-winner for a dead-heat recorded on the ladder in Singapore) for the season.

“He is a half-brother to Super Kenny, who was an out-and-out sprinter who, we know got galloped on and had throat surgery. He could have been anything without that,” said the South African conditioner.

“This one goes over more ground and can take both Polytrack and grass. It’s great to have Pat Shaw in town as well as Mark and Emily.

“I’m very grateful to my staff who do a lot of work behind the scenes.”

Black Swan sails away to easy win

Sebring five-year-old Black Swan was the popular pick in the $60,000 Class 4 race over 1800m on Friday, but there weren’t many who would have thought he would rout his rivals with so much ease.

After racing quite handy behind the leader Golden Thunder (Ng Choon Kiat), but three wide, an early move to hit the lead under Michael Rodd had most thinking he would come unstuck halfway through.

But the $16 favourite clearly had not spent a penny in transit, as he pinged again for a sizzling turn of speed hitherto unseen at his previous 29 starts.

Black Swan (Michael Rodd) makes winning look easy in Race 3.

By the 150m mark, they were so far ahead that Rodd could sit and pose for the camera as they went on to score by a widening margin of just under six lengths from Big Banker (Olivier Placais) with Danger Zone (Derreck David) third another nose away. The winning time was 1min 51.07secs for the 1800m on Polytrack.

Winning trainer Steven Burridge looked like he was pinching himself after he just watched his horse thump his rivals so emphatically.

“He’s had so many seconds and thirds, and it’s been so disappointing,” said the Australian.

“But with Michael Rodd tonight, he hit the line really well. He’s never won on Polytrack before and I didn’t expect him to win by that margin.

“I must have been off the ball!”

Rodd was at his second win on the Masa Otani-owned galloper, with the first one coming in inferior company (Class 5) over 2000m four months ago.

“I won on him over 2000m before, but he’s had a lot of outs since,” said the Australian jockey.

“He had no luck at his very next start. He is an on-pace runner and he showed a lot of zip and confidence tonight.

“I probably went a bit early but the race was soon over.”

With that third win from 30 starts, Black Swan has now taken his stakes earnings past the $170,000 mark for the Big Valley Stable.

Tough Justice holds court for second time

A carbon-copy of Lucky Justice’s last-start winning tactics went a long way in seeing the strapping galloper hit paydirt again on Friday night.

Five weeks ago, the towering son of Purrealist sat three wide for Glen Boss for the best part of a 1600m race for Class 4 Division 2 gallopers before slogging it out inside the last 300m to gain a head win from the fast-finishing Chase.

Throw in more or less the same ingredients in the mix – except for the rider with Boss away in Australia on holidays and swapping with Michael Rodd and an even worst draw (13 versus 7) – and invariably, trainer Steven Burridge would be loath to change a winning formula.

Lucky Justice (Michael Rodd) scores back-to-back wins in Race 7 on Friday.

Leaping straight out of the machine, Lucky Justice was scrubbed up early just to take up a prominent spot, before again being charted on a wide trip while punching the breeze, but always ambling well within his own steam.

Upfront, Manoel Nunes had slammed on the brakes aboard Knight Chen Bay, but Super Joe (Barend Vorster) would not be caught napping as he came to serve it up to Knight Chen Bay on the outside in an obvious bid to wrest the lead or pre-empt any tactical sit-and-sprint affair.

Nunes immediately responded by clicking Knight Chen Bay up to match motors with Super Joe while Lucky Justice ($32) had no other choice but to throw down the gauntlet by circumnavigating the two eye-balling leaders as the final turn loomed.

In one fell swoop, Lucky Justice dashed to the front, but Super Joe was not done for the night as he mounted a stiff fightback on Lucky Justice’s nearside. For a fleeting moment, it looked like Super Joe would turn back the tables, but Lucky Justice still had some petrol left as he clung on to a slender half-length advantage all the way to the line.

Arr Flair (Alan Munro) finished third another length away. The winning time was 1min 40.07secs for the Polytrack mile.

Burridge said that with his ample corpulence and giant strides, Lucky Justice is cut out for such free-galloping tactics on the periphery.

“Glen rode him the same way at his last win. He’s got big strides and you cannot break his stride, just steady him up on the outside and he will then race at his best,” said the Australian mentor.

“Michael was supposed to ride him last week but the race was scratched. As Glen is still away, I put Michael on and he rode this horse a treat.”

Rodd certainly got the timing down pat even if he was getting a leg-up on the Lucky Stable-owned galloper for the first time in a race. He trialled him once.

“This horse is really flying at the moment. He’s got a great set of lungs and he does it at both ends,” said Rodd.

“Steve said he would be wound up but I was able to get a rest twice – down the back and coming down the hill. I got to work on him from the 600m and he showed a good will to win.”

With that second success from 11 outings, Lucky Justice has seen his account swell to just under $90,000 for the Lucky Stable of Mr Robert Ng.

Nimitz declares war at first outing

The $35,000 Open Maiden race over 1200m produced a shock result with the winning debut of $120 roughie Nimitz on Friday.

Ridden by Singapore’s leading jockey Vlad Duric, the Steven Burridge-trained newcomer flew the lids before spearing over to the front with little fuss.

But once in front, he got a touch keen, throwing his head about once in a while, even though he had the shadow roll and the hood on.

Nimitz (Vlad Duric) springs a major upset to score on debut.

His experienced pilot, however, was on top of things throughout, and once the gelding was rebalanced into the home straight, he gave another turn of speed to kick clear to a commanding two-length win from another debutant Howl (Olivier Placais).

Favourite Lim’s Magic (Glen Boss) rattled home late on the outside to take third place another neck away. The winning time was 1min 10.46secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.

Burridge said Nimitz came to him unraced with one barrier trial win at Wyong under his belt, but he could still feel his rawness right away.

“Wade (son) bought him. He won a barrier trial at Wyong, but he was still very green when he started working,” said the Australian conditioner.

“It took me a while to get it right. I thought he had ability but he was drawn awkwardly on the outside, which was a bit of a query, but he won good in the end.

“It’s great for his owner, Andrew, who is my accountant, and Ron Shim, and of course a big thank you goes to my staff.”

Duric said Nimitz, a four-year-old by Ready’s Image, was still the raw deal, but should develop into a handy individual once he gets the racing caper down pat.

“He’s still very raw and green. When he got to the front, he was like ‘what do I do now?’,” said the Australian jockey.

“He hung out the whole way in the straight, but he kept hitting the line very strongly.”