Blizzard blows hot in Fortune Bowl
Moor steers the Freedman-trained seven-year-old to a nose victory
Fortune smiles on those who wait. But not so, sometimes.
Indeed, had jockey Daniel Moor played the waiting game on Blizzard when seemingly caught behind a horse which was giving ground around the 500m mark, the 2019 Fortune Bowl might have had a different ending.
But Moor didn't wait. He made a split-second decision, peeled his mount out and gave chase.
The race being on the short course, the finish was by then in sight and Countofmontecristo was being shouted the winner.
Stride for stride they went. Heads up, heads down. Whips cracking, Moor and Glen Boss threw themselves into it. Over in the cheap seats, the cheers were for Blizzard.
They had backed him down to $22 second favourite and they were feeling good.
But it was too close to call. So, hearts in mouth they waited for the judges to pore over the print of the finish.
Then they cheered again when the number "12" was semaphored as the winner of the Fortune Bowl. Countofmontecristo had to settle for second. Jupiter Gold would take third.
Blizzard had won. Moor, 34, had his first feature win in Singapore. And trainer Lee Freedman being Lee Freedman was already looking into the future.
"He's going to be a force to reckon with in the 1,600m races coming up," he said.
Well, coming from the man himself, you'd better believe it.
Earlier in the afternoon, the first race of the Year of the Pig, produced a sensational result - and that's putting it mildly.
And if it is a foretaste of what could come in the year ahead, Lim's Stable, trainer Mark Walker and jockey Troy See could be in for a bumper season.
Lining up in a lowly and humble Kranji Stakes D contest, Lim's Rhythm was hopelessly away.
Indeed, if you had backed him and were watching the race on any of the numerous TV screens at the racecourse, you would - just seconds into the 1,400m event - have been wondering if your pick was still in the race.
After all, he was so far back that he was out of the picture - so to speak.
His rider would later say, at that stage he really thought something was amiss with his horse.
The next time Lim's Rhythm appeared in focus was at the top of the stretch. He was still dead last and, it being the short course, it seemed like "game over" for the $34 pick.
Then came the charge home. Hooking his mount to an opening six horses wide, See asked Lim's Rhythm for an effort.
The horse didn't need a second invitation.
Aided by some vigorous whip riding, he "flew" to the front 150m out, catching the rest by surprise.
He would eventually beat Dragon High by half a length with Optimum Star third.
"He surprised me," said See. "He wasn't striding out freely. At the 600m, I was seven lengths behind the second last horse and I really thought there was something wrong with him."
Well, although the thought did cross his mind, See didn't throw in the towel. He persevered and certainly earned his riding fee - maybe even, a bonus.
After all, he had - so to speak - in the first race of the Year of the Pig, brought home the bacon.