Qaidoom just won't quit
Tough grey mare shakes off former stablemate Hamama to post brave win
Qaidoom emerged from an all-American girl showdown to score a well-earned first win at Class 4 level on Saturday.
The US-bred five-year-old mare by Noble Mission took the race up to Hamama, the other US-bred mare in the $50,000 Class 4 dash over 1,000m, right from the start before eventually scrambling her way past.
Interestingly, the two foes were once friends as Michael Clements stablemates under the Al Rashid Stable banner. Both have since changed ownership, with Hamama even transferred to Mahadi Taib.
Pairing off from a long way out, the eye-balling duo gave each other no quarter well into the Polytrack home straight.
Both could be vulnerable to a swooper but neither buckled under pressure, even if they were running on fumes.
As Simon Kok upped the ante on Qaidoom, Hamama matched her grey challenger stride for stride under Saifudin Ismail’s urgings.
It was only inside the last 100m that the war of attrition finally unveiled a winner.
Qaidoom slowly gained the ascendancy as a gallant Hamama eventually surrendered to the even-money favourite to run sixth, creditably less than two lengths astern.
Lim’s Craft (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) and Hyde Park (Jerlyn Seow) pounced late but they could not lower the boom on Qaidoom.
A neck split the Pacific Stable’s new acquisition and Lim’s Craft, with Hyde Park third, another ½-length away. The winner clocked 59.49sec for the 1,000m on the all-weather track.
With Clements away at the Karaka yearling sale in New Zealand, assistant trainer Michael “Chopsy” White was on hand to lead in the yard’s sixth winner that cemented their current first place on the log.
“She is a bread-and-butter speedy mare and she’s got down to the right weight in the handicap,” said the Australian.
“The owners have started to invest heavily in horses. They want to become big players.
“This mare has come up for sale and she fitted the bill, even if she’s no star.”
With Qaidoom’s two previous wins recorded on debut in Open Maiden company and in a Class 5 event, White was keeping things in perspective.
“I think she’s just a genuine Class 4 1,000m type,” he said.
“It’ll be harder for her now as she may end going up and down in the ratings.”
Kok said the win might not have looked pretty but he had to think on his feet when Plan A did not come off.
“I discussed with Clements before he left, and Chopsy in the parade ring. They both told me she was a mare who likes to go forward,” said the Malaysian jockey.
“We studied the form and thought Hamama would be up there, and to track her up in second.
“But my horse began so well. I tried to make her come back but she was always working onto the bridle.
“Hamama set a very fast pace. I was happy to sit on the outside but I didn’t want to use my horse too much.
“But at the 450m, I was a bit worried when she hit a flat spot. I had to ride her hands and heels to hold my position.
“She then kicked clear but, in the last 50m, Lim’s Craft was coming in fast. Luckily, she stayed on well to the line and we hung on.
“I’m lucky enough to have got a winner at my first ride for the owners. They have a lot of quality horses coming up.
“CC (Wong Chin Chuen) rides most of their horses but I pick up whatever I can.
“I’ve now ridden three winners all up. So I can’t complain with the way my season has gone so far.”
The day’s riding honours were shared between Kranji’s current leading hoops, Wong and last year’s title holder and four-time Singapore champion Manoel Nunes, both well clear of the rest.
Wong scored aboard Big Day, Star Empire and Nineoneone while Nunes hit back with Aftermath, War Pride and Takhi.
They are tied on 11 winners, with Nunes keeping the yellow jersey on a countback for seconds.
Saturday's Singapore Results: sares29.pdf