Dragon flaunts it ... and why not
She saddles a popular winner in Race 1 at Kranji yesterday
We've heard it said, if you've got it, flaunt it. So it was at Kranji yesterday that trainer Leticia Dragon produced a runner which ticked all the boxes.
The name? Flaunt. And true to the label, the handsome chestnut "flaunted" it in the best possible way.
He beat the daylights out of his rivals in Race 1, taking the lead on straightening and never giving it back.
He would eventually go on to beat I Am Invisible by over two lengths with Super Emperor holding down third spot.
For jockey CC Wong, it was a joyful reunion.
He was the man in the saddle when Flaunt opened his Kranji account over the 1,000m in an Open Maiden affair in March.
And, like it was that day eight months ago, CC adopted almost similar tactics. He jumped his mount cleanly and quickly dropped into a holding spot behind the leader, Asia Spirit.
There he stayed, snug as a bug in a rug, until the home turn. Then, as the field fanned out, Flaunt began to show off.
Going into overdrive, he hit the front and, just like that, it was "game over".
Hats off to Dragon. She had persevered. In the space of that last win and yesterday, she had knocked off the rough edges and applied the polish. The hard work paid off. Very soon, her charge was "good to go".
All that was left was to find the right race. It fell her way. Dropped to Class 5 and over the flying 1,000m, Dragon must have known she had a winner.
Well, the punters knew it too. They backed him down to $10 and, as it turned out, it was the easiest money they ever made.
More "feel good" results were to follow.
In Race 2, Joseph Azzopardi brought home outsider Buuraq to beat the raging favourite, Rise Of Empire and, in the very next race, Louis Philippe Beuzelin was victorious on the Hideyuki Takaoka-trained Golazo.
The win on Buuraq was significant more for the fact that it gave Azzopardi a fitting farewell present as the Perth-based rider returns home this week after riding here for nine months.
"I've had a great time," he said. "I really enjoyed riding here. Michael Clements was the reason I came over to ride here so it felt good riding a winner for him on my last day at Kranji."
One race later, the win on Golazo must have felt extra special for jockey Beuzelin.
For a moment there on Friday night, we feared the worst when, soon after the start in Race 7, he took a tumble off Julius Caesar.
The Frenchman was attended to on track and stretchered off to the waiting ambulance.
But like a boxer knocked to the canvas, he was up on his feet and, brushing away the bruising, he was legged up on Golazo.
What happened, we know. Sent to the front in 1,800m race, Beuzelin soon had him in a hammerlock.
The markings on the rails flashed by, one after another. And Golazo kept widening his lead.
With Beuzelin doing the navigation, all went well and Golazo romped in with about three lengths to spare. Takaoka, the "master" in distant races, had done it again.
As for Beuzelin, that fall on Friday became a footnote.
Like all good sportsmen, when the going got tough, he got tougher.
Thumbs up, Louis.