Mok saddles 200th winner
Impressive all-the-way winner River Radiance provides trainer with his milestone victory
Singaporean trainer Mok Zhan Lun is not one who hogs the headlines often.
But, on Friday night at Kranji, the soft-spoken trainer basked in the limelight - thanks to his promising youngster River Radiance, who provided him his 200th career winner.
Although it was quite a long journey to reach that milestone - his first winner, Famous Than You, was back on March 26 in 2010 - the former Singapore Training Academy for Racing graduate, was delighted it was behind him and he could now aim for other targets.
"I hope I can achieve more after tonight," said the former foreign exchange banker.
For his well-earned achievement, Mok was presented a bottle of Moet champagne by Association of Racehorse Trainers Singapore's operations manager Debbie Hawkins.
River Radiance, a trial winner who ran second first-up to Surpass Natural, who went on to score again, was indeed a winning prospect in Friday night's Restricted Maiden (1) over the Polytrack 1,100m after making marked improvement.
But Mok was still not counting the chickens before they are hatched. This was even after jockey Michael Rodd reckoned River Radiance was a good thing after riding the horse to win his trial leading up to the race.
"I gave this horse a pretty good chance, but it all depended on luck," said Mok. "He had the best jockey on him. Michael told me after his trial that he was pretty confident the horse was in a good shape.
"I left it to Michael to ride him the way he wanted. There is no definite position he has to be in."
Unlike his May 31 debut, when he came from midfield to finish second with jockey Troy See astride over the Poly 1,000m, Rodd took him straight to the front from Golden Kid (John Sundradas) and Gamely (Joseph Azzopardi).
Always travelling on the bit, River Radiance never gave his connections any anxious moments from that point onwards, even if Gamely did issue a decent challenge inside the last 200m.
But that elusive maiden win for the Donna Logan-trained Gamely will again have to wait another day. It was Gamely's sixth runner-up spot in 16 starts. He has four thirds.
The Macau-owned River Radiance never showed any signs of letting up as he strolled in by three lengths from Gamely in 1min 04.8sec.
"River Radiance was probably my best chance. I went forward just to keep him out of trouble. He's a nice horse," said Rodd, who eventually rode a four-bagger, including Inferno in the $250,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe.
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