Kok rides the Tiger to victory
One hour delay doesn't slow things down at Kranji yesterday
A one-hour delay didn't bother Tiger Force. Not one bit.
The delay was brought about because of a "technical problem" with the club's betting system.
Detected before the 1.10pm start of the opening event, it was necessary for the horses to return to their stables and the riders to the jockeys' room.
When we next saw them, they were trotting out to the gates for the revised 2.10pm starting time.
If any of the horses were hot and bothered by the delay, it obviously didn't matter to Tiger Force. Indeed, it was case of "no problem".
As it all unfolded, top apprentice Simon Kok did what he did on Friday night. He went on to win the opening event. It was his 32nd for the season.
That's a statistic. How he did it was good to watch.
Taking off from the 1,700m mark on the Poly, the apprentice and the "Tiger" were in the rear bunch early.
Six hundred metres to travel and Kok made his move. Taking his mount to the outside for clear running room, he began to pick off his rivals one by one. But there was still a job to do.
As we now know, Tiger Force was up to the task.
Michael Rodd on Military Chairman tried everything except carry his mount over the final 20m. But Tiger Force wasn't going to be denied and, like it was on Friday night, Kok added another winner to his tally.
From Donna Logan's yard, Tiger Force is finally beginning to roar. It took him 19 starts to get his win and, now, at his 20th, he had a double to show.
It was late last month that he ran a similar sort of race. That was over the mile and we saw him charging home from a spot off midfield to carve out a comfortable win.
Actually, it was very comfortable.
And the astute punter doesn't forget that easily. They obviously remembered what they had witnessed and it was no surprise they backed him down to second favourite.
Tiger Force won by a neck and paid $18 for the win. It was a good return for a last start winner being ridden by a man high on confidence.
Talking of confidence, there was a whole lot riding on Universal Empire in Race 3.
Trained by former champion Alwin Tan, he was the horse the punters wanted and, from the $13 price when the red light was flashing, they pawned their gold fillings and backed him down to $9.
No one lost any teeth as Universal Empire, ridden by Benny Woodworth, romped home like a $9 favourite, putting his head in front just where and when it mattered.
With Zuriman Zulkifli winning Race 2 on $147 outsider Emperor Taizong, it took Joseph Azzopardi to end the three-race "roll win" by local jockeys.
Riding The New Paper's "Best BetOf The Day" - Spirit Of Big Bang - the jockey from Western Australia put the race to bed when they straightened for the run home.
"I knew from the 600m mark that I was not going to get beaten," said a visibly happy Azzopardi.
Also visibly happy were the punters who gladly accepted the $10 for the win.