Ong keeps Special Ops in order
The Logan-trained Speedy Missile also looks primed during trackwork for a winning show
It was around this time last year – Jan 3, to be precise – that Special Ops gave Jason Ong his first winner of the 2021 season.
The 34-year-old was then galloping into his second full season as a trainer after saddling 18 winners in his rookie year.
The father of three, who carries a smile like it has been plastered there, would go on to train a total of 26 winners for his owners.
That said, the current season has not been coming up roses for Ong.
At least, not yet.
But it is still early days and things can only get better.
Ong has entered a team of nine runners for Saturday’s meeting and the one who could get the ball rolling looks to be Special Ops.
A five-time winner from 22 starts, he drew attention to his chances in Race 3 with a pleasing gallop on the training track.
With Zyrul Nor Azman doing the navigating from his perch in the saddle, Special Ops went over the 600m in 37.8sec.
It was a fluent piece of work which seemed to suggest a good showing in the Kranji Stakes C contest that is coming up in a couple of days.
That race will be over the mile and Special Ops should have no complaints.
After all, two of his five wins have been over the 1,600m on grass and he will get the same underfoot conditions in the race that is coming up.
One of the better ones in Ong’s barn, Special Ops did not come cheap in the sales ring.
He went under the hammer for close to $150,000 and, with more than $250,000 already in the bank, he has – you could say – lived up to his end of the deal.
The last season was a stellar year for the five-year-old son of Reset.
It was a busy one, too. Ong sent him to the races 15 times but he seemed to thrive on the action, picking up four wins and a bunch of minor placings.
As mentioned, last year Special Ops gave Ong his first winner on Jan 3.
Come Jan 15, he could present the young trainer with his first success of 2022.
Also impressive on the training track was Speedy Missile.
A tried and tested galloper who was formerly with Mark Walker and is now with Donna Logan, Speedy Missile had A’Isisuhairi Kasim in the saddle when running the 600m in 39.8sec.
That, after loosening up with a strong canter.
He is in good shape.
Last time, on Singapore Gold Cup Day, Speedy Missile was sent off as the $17 top pick in a Class 4 race on the undercard.
He was never in the hunt and finished ninth in that race won by Eagle Eye.
Manoel Nunes, his jockey on the day, informed the Stewards that his mount proved difficult to settle in the early and middle stages.
On top of that, it was near the 1,000m mark that he had to be continually restrained off the heels of another runner.
Speedy Missile was inspected by the club’s vets who found no abnormality.
A winner of two races from 16 starts, Speedy Missile has since had a two-month break – which could be just what he needs.
After all, the last time the five-year-old had a “vacation” – that time it was a seven-week rest – he went on to win his next race.
You never know, but these eight weeks off from racing might just get his motor running again.
Wednesday’s Kranji gallops
Special Ops H (N Zyrul) 37.8.
Run And Run 38.9.
Speedy Missile H (K A’Isisuhairi) canter/39.8.