2020 New Year Cup
Tan Kah Soon-trained $139 outsider leads all the way to bolt home in the $175,000 Group 3 New Year Cup
Nowyousee yesterday turned the tables on the two horses that finished ahead of him last time out to spring a big upset in the $175,000 Group 3 New Year Cup - the first feature on the first day of the 2020 Singapore racing season.
The Titanium Racing Stable-owned five-year-old was third behind Bold Thruster and Skywalk in their last encounter on the final day of the 2019 season on Dec 8.
With improvement and bottomweight of 50kg -while Skywalk and Bold Thruster carried 58.5kg and 58kg respectively - the bay/brown gelding stole the Polytrack feature with a big breakaway from the home turn.
Certain quarters felt Nowyousee would tire but he surprised all and sundry to keep up a relentless gallop to win by three lengths from Skywalk and rewarded his supporters with a $139 win payout.
Bold Thruster ran home a gallant third, half a length behind, after displaying an old habit - bombing the start. That was the main worry for champion jockey Vlad Duric.
Nowyousee gave apprentice jockey T Krisna his first Group success.
It also turned trainer Tan Kah Soon's dream into reality.
The son of retired Penang-based trainer Dr Tan Swee Hock had dreamt that Krisna won on a black horse and he duly nominated the lightweight apprentice rider on Nowyousee.
His talented Polytrack specialist, whose six previous successes were also on the alternate surface, was supposed to be ridden by apprentice I Amirul.
"I feel bad, because Amirul was supposed to ride but his pass didn't come through. Then I had a dream Krisna won on a black horse. I didn't know which one. He was available and we chucked him on this one and it turned out well," said Tan.
The soft-spoken trainer said there was one race Nowyousee got tired in the last 200m when jockey Daniel Moor rode the horse and he duly went back to the drawing board.
"We gave him a break and we always said we want to come back for this one, you know, and see how it goes," said Tan.
An elated Krisna thanked Tan for the ride and the Singapore Turf Club for extending his Kranji riding licence.
"This is my first Group win. I just followed the trainer's instructions. You know, I got 50kg. This horse also always runs there and finishes off very good," said Krisna.
"I just jumped and went forward, let him settle nicely and, come to the straight, he gave me a good response."
While Krisna savoured his moments of feature-race glory, another young lad was also in Cloud Nine.
New apprentice Hakim Kamaruddin rode his first winner on his first day of riding.
After finishing third on his debut ride, Bejewelled, the 22-year-old Kelantan-born won on Try Mak Mak - the second leg of a treble for his master, three-time Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker.
"I am very, very happy my boss gave me very good horses and I thank the turf club for giving me the licence," said Hakim.
Walker said he had to thank Kuala Lumpur-based trainer Frank Maynard for introducing Hakim to his stable and for the foundation he gave to the boy.
"Obviously, the kid is going to go through the grades pretty quickly, because his second ride, from the outside draw, he got into a good position like that. It shows he's got a fair bit of ability," said the Kiwi trainer.