'Famous' only at his 28th attempt
4YO US-bred rallies to beat two favourites
From his debut in July 2017 to before the start of Race 2 at Kranji yesterday, Make U Famous was anything but his name suggests.
All the four-year-old US-bred gelding had were four seconds and four thirds from a total of 27 starts - seven under current trainer Alwin Tan and 20 under CT Kuah.
Under Tan, who sent Make U Famous out second three times, including his last start by a head, and a third. This suggested the horse was knocking on the door.
But a victory was not assured, with hot favourite Pindus and the consistent-but-unlucky Gamely standing in the way in the $20,000 Maiden event over the Polytrack 1,100m.
But, with the weight advantage and a 10-out-of-10 ride by leading apprentice jockey Simon WH Kok, Make U Famous finally got his Oscar moment at start No. 28.
The winner received 5.5kg from runner-up Gamely and 9kg from third-placed Pindus in the race which ended in a thrilling three-way finish.
Pindus, ridden by Michael Rodd, started well but Kok pressed Make U Famous ahead on settling down. Gamely, with two-time Singapore champion Vlad Duric astride, did not have the best of jumps but quickly revved up to be second.
Gamely poked a head shortly after straightening. Make U Famous wasn't giving it up yet. Pindus staked his claims.
Going hell for leather, Kok squeezed Make U Famous up in the last few strides to beat Gamely by a head in 1min 05.47sec. He paid $40 for a win.
Pindus finished third, just a nose behind Gamely, who has now notched his seventh second placing from 18 starts.
"Today, I got a soft lead and saved him as much as I could," said Kok, who partnered the horse five times previously for two seconds and two thirds.
"Once Vlad Duric came up beside him, he became competitive and, probably because of his light weight, he fought it out very well."