Oh, so easy for Fame Star, Latest Racing News - The New Paper
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Oh, so easy for Fame Star

Trainer O'Hara's four-year-old speedster canters home

The moment he hit the front - which, by the way, was immediately when the chutes opened - it was "game over" for the rest.

Simon Kok, in the saddle on Fame Star, would go on to make every post a winning one as he ran the opposition ragged in that highly-competitive Class 3 Division 2 sprint over the 1,200m.

Indeed, such was Fame Star's dominance that it was blatantly obvious they were toying with the rest. It was like they had issued an invitation to all-comers to "catch us if you can".

Well, they couldn't and Fame Star went on to lend credence to the fact that fame would come early for this star in the making.

Before the race, there was a buzz in the air. It circulated among punters that the Lee Freedman-trained Muraahib could spoil the party being planned for trainer John O'Hara, and owners Constance Cheng and the Toast Trust & Kadima Stable.

To add to their confidence, Muraahib's jockey, Patrick Moloney, was saying before the race that he reckoned the No. 3 horse in Race 7 was his best for the night.

So, and true to form, punters came for Muraahib with their wallets open and eventually backed him down to $12. It allowed Fame Star to settle at a nice price of $24.

So it was, the starter let them go and Kok - having his second ride on the four-year-old - sent his mount to the front.

The pair had been successful some three weeks ago when winning a 1,200m race on the grass. So, Kok knew just what kind of horse he had beneath him.

To his credit, Muraahib did toss in a challenge. But it was too little too late. On the day, he was never going to catch Fame Star even if Moloney carried him across the line.

Three parts of a length was the winning distance. It could well have been three lengths - even more.

"He's a nice and beautiful horse who is much more improved now," said the Ipoh-born Kok, who cut his teeth on showjumpers first before switching to horse racing.

"He did pull hard, but once he was alone in front, he was able to take a breather and quicken up later.

"He's very easy to ride. He's got good gate speed and puts himself in a good position early. I just had to cuddle him up from that point onwards."

With Kok having now brought up his 40th winner, his claim is reduced from three kilos to two kilos from Monday.

O'Hara's assistant-trainer Stephen Crutchley, who handled the post-race interview, admitted that Muraahib was always going to be a thorn in their side, but Fame Star luckily did not let them down.

"I was worried about the horse behind. He is a very good horse, but our horse was very good, too," said the Kiwi horseman.

Fame Star has now taken his record to four wins and two thirds from 13 starts for prize money close to the $250,000 mark.

He will go on to win more races.

HORSE RACING