Harry’s birthday wish
Kelantan-born rider hopes Minister can give him his second QE II Cup
Tomorrow is jockey A'Isisuhairi Kasim's 36th birthday - and what better present for him than winning his second Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
Already successful on Wild Geese in 2014, the Kelantan-born rider known as Harry at Kranji is hoping his Kranji Mile-winning partner Minister will prevail in the $300,000 feature.
Granted, the Donna Logan-trained Minister was a tad disappointing in last month's $300,000 Group 1 Raffles Cup over 1,600m when eighth to Lim's Lightning.
But A'isisuhairi reckoned his mount has turned his form around with blinkers.
"He didn't do much in the Raffles Cup. As a jockey, I know when a horse isn't travelling well," he said.
"He didn't show his usual good finish, and we were all disappointed with his run.
"As we all know, he's also not easy to get around. So, Donna and I then came up with a plan. We decided to put blinkers on, we just wanted to sharpen him up.
"Minister has always been in good form last year. But, to me, he had been getting used to that situation. As he's also got a bit older, it was time we showed him who's the boss and it's time to wake up.
"He trialled well with the blinkers on, and also did a grass gallop with them on this week. For now, we also put the blinkers on for slow work, just so he gets used to it."
Asked how far Minister had come within the winning grass gallop before the Kranji Mile, A'Isisuhairi said he was close.
"At the grass gallop before the Raffles Cup, he was sour and I was struggling to get him around," he said.
"He was supposed to work with Super Dynasty, but I ended up going my own way."
"Last Tuesday, he did his grass gallop alone with the blinkers on, and he gave me a good feel. I really felt he wanted to get on with it.
"I think he's come back to business, he's back on his game. I expect him to do well this Saturday. The 1,800m will suit him better and he can finish off with his good turn of foot."
May Minister give you cause for a double celebration, A'Isisuhairi.