Troy goes bang, bang, bang
Reigning champion apprentice, who is now a full-fledged jockey, leads all the way in the first three races
Jockey Troy See kicked off the proceedings at Kranji yesterday with a triple bang - all aboard front-running winners.
The Singaporean rider, who was crowned champion apprentice last season but is now a full-fledged jockey, started the ball rolling on the KY Young-trained Perfect Commando and followed up with the Daniel Meagher-trained Lim's Dream and the Alwin Tan-trained Galvarino.
See's hat-trick - which paid $24, $12 and $7 respectively and all tipped as my first choices - has brought his season's tally to 11 winners. He rode 33 winners last year to be the top rookie.
It was only the second time See rode Perfect Commando, who ended a sequence of 16 losing runs since his last victory in June 2017. The New Zealand-bred's last win and another success were ridden by TH Koh. Ten different riders had ridden the gelding in his 29 starts.
See first hopped on Perfect Commando in his comeback race from a 3.5-month spell on March 1. The combination finished fourth, after sitting in the box-seat third.
Perhaps with a better understanding of the horse, See found himself in the front yesterday in the Class 5 event over the Polytrack 1,100m. Given the soft lead, his mount found no challengers in the run home, winning by two lengths.
In his last start on March 3, Lim's Dream led with See aboard in a Poly 1,000m event and was caught near the line by a neck by Super Smart.
The extra 200m posed a bit of a query yesterday but he still jumped as the $12 favourite, as his final hit-out on Tuesday morning, which was highlighted in The New Paper, was superb. Meagher also had a plan. He removed the blinkers and it did the trick.
Champion trainer Lee Freedman's trial-winning newcomer Yulong Express chased Lim's Dream but it was soon evident that Lim's Dream was safe. Jockey Glen Boss already had to work hard to keep his mount within striking distance , while See was still sitting pretty on Lim's Dream.
When See asked at the 200m mark, Lim's Dream went into overdrive and scooted away to beat Yulong Express by 53/4 lengths in the Restricted Maiden race over the Poly 1,200m.
Meagher said Lim's Dream resumed good on March 3, after returning lame off-hind in the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m last July.
But the Lim's Stable-owned Australian-bred was probably short of a run and his last-start second certainly topped him up beautifully. He also reckoned the removal of blinkers helped.
"The blinkers off settled him a little and he has had that one run under his belt. He should go a bit longer but we'll keep him to 1,200m for the time being," said Meagher.
See concurred with Meagher.
"He was a lot better today than his last start. I think Dan did the right thing by taking off the blinkers. He sort of conserved a little bit more throughout the race. Kudos to Dan," said See.
On Galvarino, See said he was "more nervous than excited" on his last-start winner who has a history of veering badly off-course in a race and his trials.
But, like his last start, Galvarino led and was lucky to have a horse, Toosbies, covering him early. Galvarino broke clear at the 300m mark. See only had to give his mount a few light taps to remind him of his obligation.
Lim's Knight sprouted wings late but Galvarino was home and hosed by half a length in the Class 4 Div 2 event over 1,200m.
Tan said he still prayed hard for Galvarino to stay on-course.
"Luckily, No. 6 covered him and I think Troy is now more confident on him and, today, he really did a good job. I can now say I'll keep him to the Singapore Three-Year-Old Series next month," said the 2016 Singapore champion trainer.
Said See: "He went good again today. No nightmares. When he hits the front, he rarely gets beaten, so my job was really easy today, to be honest. He won like a really good horse, so I'm pretty sure he'll go to the Three-Year-Old Series."