Montana Flash sheds maiden tag early, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Montana Flash sheds maiden tag early

Donna Logan’s galloper lives up to the promise shown at early Kranji starts

Montana Flash franked the early potential shown in three starts with a stylish maiden win on Sunday.

As a three-year-old who boldly took on tougher opposition, the son of Star Turn, who turned four yesterday, has acquitted himself creditably with a second and a fourth.

The only blemish was actually an unplaced run against his own age group in the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1,200m) on June 18.

Fair play to his connections for having a roll of the dice, but they soon took a reality check when their protege found himself out of his depth against the likes of Golden Monkey and Silent Is Gold. 

Montana Flash was competitive again after trainer Donna Logan eased him back to Class 4 a fortnight later. He beat all but the leader From The Navy.

With the bar lowered even further down to the $20,000 Open Maiden race over 1,400m, Montana Flash was considered as the closest thing to a certainty on Sunday.

The $7 odds echoed the sentiment he could not possibly lose against rivals who were much easier than the ones he had been mixing it with thus far.

But, with Montana Flash on the rails for half of the journey, the concern he may not be able to extricate himself in time never quite went away.

First-time partner Jake Bayliss rode him with supreme confidence, though.

The young Australian jockey picked his way out at the right time before allowing his mount to ping away to an easy 11/2-length win from Wan Legacy (Wong Chin Chuen). 

The well-backed Absolute Radiance (Vlad Duric) had every chance with a good tow in behind the pacesetters, but just missed the runner-up spot by a nose.

The winning time was 1min 23.85sec for the 1,400m on the long course.

“I was a bit worried about the odds. He was short at the divvies (dividends) which is always a concern,” said Logan.

“But Jake kept him out of trouble, he rode him a treat. The horse did lay in in the last bit, but he got over the line, which is the more important thing.

“It’s great to get another winner for the owner Mr Ben Kwok Chun Wai. He has horses in Australia, America, New Zealand, it’s terrific for him.”

Kwok is a prominent Hong Kong owner-breeder, who recently penetrated the Singapore market with trainers Mark Walker, Logan as well as Shane Baertschiger, most notably with two-time winner Shang Chi.

Bayliss missed the July 24 action after he had to rush to his ailing grandmother’s side in Queensland, Australia. 

He had singled Montana Flash out as his best chance from his book of five rides at his Kranji comeback.

“The plan was to stay on the fence, and we were able to get to the paint early,” said the Australian jockey.

“At some point, I had to roll off. Once I popped him off, he ambled on nicely. 

“We might have gone too soon, but once I gave him a squeeze, he shot away. 

“He’s won on raw ability, there’s more underneath the hood.

“I rode him like the best horse in the race, made sure he had plenty of room and just kept his mind on the job.”

Montana Flash raced eight times for Kwok in Sydney and Melbourne, picking up a third place at Sandown last year as his best showing before coming to Singapore.