𝐒𝐨 𝐇𝐢 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐬'𝐬 𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐝𝐫𝐚𝐰𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐒𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲'𝐬 $𝟏𝟎𝟎,𝟎𝟎𝟎 𝐊𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐣𝐢 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐀 𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟒𝟎𝟎𝐦.
Perhaps the Irish-bred six-year-old had not achieved success outside of Class 3 competition.
One may be pardoned for believing that the gelding trained by Jason Ong would need favorable circumstances in order to win today because he had not won in more than a year.
But things went his way right away: So Hi Class ($50), riding for Koh Teck Huat, earned his eighth career victory and a useful one-kilo claim while doing the job admirably.
Koh had So Hi Class moving wonderfully with cover behind Nepean (Jake Bayliss) and parked just outside the race favorite, Spirit Of Big Bang (Ibrahim Mamat), while Red Ocean (Wong Chin Chuen) led in front after jumping strongly from gate four in the small field of seven.
Koh, who peeled off his heels as soon as he entered the straight, had Nepean's number early on, and when he sided up to Spirit Of Big Bang at 200 meters, the race was all but over.
It was challenging though, and Koh had to switch to hands-and-heels to maintain both the pace and So Hi Class when his mount, Spirit Of Big Bang, was still holding on at the 175m. After gaining the upper hand over his main adversary, it was homeward bound with a few late whip cracks.
In the final moments, So Hi Class easily defeated Spirit Of Big Bang by a three-quarters margin, leaving no room for dispute about the outcome. Louis-Philippe Beuzelin, the quarter back who appeared to have a chance at the 200 meters, came in neck away.
The winning time for the 1400 meters on the Long Course was 1 minute and 21.94 seconds.
Koh, who had earlier triumphed aboard Metal World ($44) in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 event (1400 meters) for trainer Richard Lim, said, "Very thrilled."
"We jumped well, traveled smoothly, and I nursed him a little bit into the straight, and he gave me a fantastic feeling today.
"I had to put the whip away despite my confidence because he hung on a little, but once he crossed the favorite (Sprit Of Big Bang), I knew we had won.
He had been working hard and was always in contention; today's small field helped; and at 53 kg, he had a good chance of winning.
The double handed the relatively underestimated Koh his 16th victory of the year—an impressive feat considering the hard-working hoopster had previously been relegated to the bottom of the standings.
After only riding four winners in 2020, Koh rode nine winners in 2019. "I truly have to appreciate the Singapore Turf Club for having faith in me when I wasn't riding winners," Koh remarked.
I had been struggling for a while, but I persisted in working hard with some excellent trainers and making an effort to succeed so that owners would believe in me and let me ride their horses.
Ong agreed with Koh's logic.
Ong, who currently has a very healthy 25 victories for the season, stated that Koh "hasn't had a lot of opportunities the last few years."
"He has been putting in a lot of effort for us because he is capable and lightweight jockeys are hard to come by.
"Owners are glad to put him on since he rides well and has been delivering; in addition, he is a local.
All praise goes to him because he rode So Hi Class today with patience.
So Hi Class has amassed stakes earnings of over $300,000 for winning connections after winning seven of his 34 races.
Lim's Wish ($20) won the $30,000 Class 5 race over 1100 meters, and Wind Rhapsody ($30) triumphed in a thrilling finish to the $30,000 Class 5 race over 1800 meters. French jockey Marc Lerner also rode a double.
On Sunday, two additional jockeys pulled off a brace. The $75,000 Restricted Maiden race Mariana Trench (see previous report) and the $50,000 Class 4 race In All His Glory ($16) were both victories for jockey Vlad Duric over a mile. After Winning Power ($114) defeated his competitors in the $30,000 Class 5 Division 2 event (1200m) and Summer Wind ($212) shocked the field by winning the Lucky Last despite huge odds, jockey Shafrizal Saleh changed to super-sub.
The only other multiples on the 12-race card was a trainer and owner treble, with Daniel Meagher leading Lim's Zoom ($15), Lim's Wish ($25), and Lim's Passion ($50) all for the great Lim's Stable
Great day, Meagher commented.
"Well deserved success for (owner) Mr. Lim (Siah Mong), who puts a lot of work into the business.
"Additionally, three different jockeys (Blake Shinn, Lerner, and Benny Woodworth) rode, which was frustrating for Danny (Beasley), a major member of the team, to be suspended but a tremendous effort from the stable personnel.
"I'm particularly happy of the team, especially with the older horses, (Lim's) Zoom and (Lim's) Passion, as they need extra effort," Lim said.