Iskandar picks up brilliant win
Trainer KY Young's River Brilliance has a bright future as a sprinter
If, on Saturday afternoon, you were looking to the heavens for a sign, I reckon you found nothing to suggest "brilliance".
It was a dismal day, as far as the weather was concerned.
The rain, which came down in buckets earlier in the morning, had not spared the Kranji Racecourse and, when Race 2 got underway, overalls and umbrellas were the order of the day.
Then came the Restricted Maiden event over the 1,000m on the Poly. And, on that dreary day, a horse named River Brilliance lifted the gloom.
In more ways than one, he would have delighted punters. After all, a late plunge on the win tote had paid off.
Showing $24 just before the "off", the plunge sent River Brilliance's price tumbling to $19. But few racegoers complained.
They had, just a race earlier in the opening race, been burnt to a crisp when a $327 no-hoper had scuttled their plans.
More about that later, but the way Race 2 panned out, all was well in their world of racing.
A pick-up ride for apprentice Iskandar Rosman, River Brilliance sat in the box seat on settling, thereby allowing Sahabat and Real Efecto to trade blows up front.
He was still in their slipstream at the 400m mark, but as the rain clouds parted, Iskandar made his move.
River Brilliance responded to his urgings and at the 100m mark, it was all over.
Sahabat was history. So too, Real Efecto. There was only Strong N Smart to worry about. But the momentum was with River Brilliance.
He prevailed by a neck and he did the 1,000m in a brilliant time of 58.26sec.
Trained by Young Keah Yong and having just his second start, River Brilliance could blossom into a sprinter of some reckoning.
As promised, here's what happened just a race earlier, when a horse named Split Second found a "split" in the running to romp home a big-priced winner.
Ridden by leading apprentice jockey Simon Kok, Split Second paid a hefty $327 for the win.
Prepared by Steven Burridge, he had finished down the course in his three previous outings and there was nothing to suggest a change of fortune.
Indeed, early in Saturday's race over the mile, he was in a familiar position - down the course and near the rear- with only Gold Reward for company.
And, until the runners fanned out for that run to the line, there was nothing to suggest the winning show that was to come.
But, with 250m to travel, Split Second weaved a path through the congested field.
Gold Reward, his travelling companion and another who was neglected in the betting, joined him and the two outsiders raced to the line with hardly a length separating them at the post.
Gold Reward paid a tasty $32 for the place.
If you had wagered $2 on the forecast, you would have collected a lip-smacking $1,375.
Not such a drab and dreary day after all for some lucky players.