Entertainer back in the spotlight
The smiles return after trainer Donna Logan’s gun sprinter regains form for his eighth win
Smart sprinter Entertainer was in a never-say-die mood, after he got off the canvas, to score by the barest of margins on Saturday.
After stamping himself as owner Fortuna NZ Racing Stable’s and trainer Mark Walker’s most prolific winner in 2021 with six wins, the Zoustar six-year-old picked up from where he left off with another success in January 2022.
It was also a first win under the banner of his new handler, Donna Logan, following Walker’s return to New Zealand.
But the 2021 purple patch was not duplicated. In seven subsequent starts, Entertainer left his connections wondering where the happy days had gone to.
However, a close second to The August in his last outing on Aug 14 left a hint of a possible resurgence.
Sent out at lukewarm odds of $38 in Saturday’s $70,000 Class 3 race (Poly 1,000m), Entertainer franked that form with a tenacious fightback after Darci Bounty (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) snuck up on his inside to edge past him at the 200m mark.
Under leading apprentice jockey Yusoff Fadzli’s strong urgings, he dug deep to get his nose back in front when it mattered.
Chicago Star (Benny Woodworth) ran a cheeky third, another 1/2-length away. The winning time was 58.92 seconds.
Logan said she had not waved any magic wand to get the spark back. She just used some common sense.
“Blake (Shinn) gave me the thumbs-up after he last rode him, and told me he goes too hot over further distances,” said the Kiwi trainer.
“So we’ve pulled him back, put the earmuffs on and gave him a freshen-up. He seemed pretty happy.
“I don’t have any plans for him. I’ll just see how he pulls up and we’ll see what the programme has for us.”
With that eighth success in 23 starts, Entertainer has pushed closer to the $300,000 mark in prize money for his New Zealand owners.
Entertainer was not the only one to snap a run of outs.
After scooping up winners almost every week, Yusoff also slowed down. He last won when scoring a treble on Aug 14.
Logan’s Malaysian apprentice jockey, however, still tops the juniors’ log on 17 winners, four clear of Jerlyn Seow.
“I hope every week (for a win), so my dream can come true. I have to keep working hard,” he said.
“Normally, when I see a lot of speed, from that draw, I just jump and save petrol behind the speed.
“This horse has natural speed, he was keen early.
“At the top of the straight, he kicked and did well to win.”
Logan was at the double after Super Posh ($21) overcame a wide trip from an awkward alley to snare the opening contest, the $30,000 Class 5 race (1,000m).
The win also underlined the good chemistry between the Super Easy seven-year-old and Logan’s new apprentice jockey Jamil Sarwi.
The duo have combined at Super Posh’s last four starts for two wins and two seconds. The other success, incidentally, was the Singapore rider’s career first.
Logan’s brace maintained the state of affairs at the top of the Singapore trainer’s log, given that the leader Tim Fitzsimmons hit back with an identical haul, courtesy of Hurricane and Lucky Jinsha.
The Australian keeps the yellow jersey on 49 winners, two clear of Logan. This has set the stage for a thrilling finale at the last 10 meetings of the season.