Sacred Magic ends drought for Khoo

Sacred Magic (Marc Lerner) off to an easy win on Friday night.
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By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

Trainer Leslie Khoo snapped a long run of outs after Sacred Magic landed the $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1200m on Friday night.

The Singaporean handler has not headed down to the winner’s stall since Kubera’s Chief scored on February 17. Sacred Magic ($60) was only bringing up Khoo’s sixth win for the season, probably one of the quietest years he has gone through since he moved from Ipoh to Kranji in 2008.

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But the smiles were clearly back on Friday night, with Khoo bullish the worst was behind him.

“At last!” he exclaimed as he led in the Battle Paint four-year-old alongside his happy owners, the Happy Stable.

“My horses have actually been running well but just had no luck. It’s also hard with the new ratings system, but it is what it is.

“Luckily, I have good owners who have kept supporting me. They gave me the confidence that my winning turn would come eventually.

“This horse has been running well. His last run (fourth in a similar Class 4 Division 2 race but over 1400m) was not too bad. Marc (Lerner) rode him then and he rode him very well tonight.

“Hopefully, now that the long wait is over, the winners will come. I have around 10 new horses who are getting ready and I hope they can bring me some more wins.”

Though not the fastest away from his barrier No 1, Sacred Magic was ridden out by Lerner to take up a prominent spot on the speed. They eventually settled into the box-seat while Snip (Mohd Zaki), Soldado (Zyrul Nor Azman) and Country Boss (Syahir Abdul) set the pace three abreast.

As the rails gap appeared upon straightening, Lerner wasted no time in sending Sacred Magic through. In a matter of strides, they shot straight to the lead to go and score by a widening margin of four lengths from Justice Smart (Mohammad Nizar) with Elite Saint (Pregasam Dellorto) third another 1 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 11.42secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.

“The horse was travelling in handy behind the leaders in fourth spot,” said Lerner.

“When the gap came up at the top of the straight, he kicked into another gear. I had no idea he was well so far ahead in front.

“I think the switch to Polytrack helped him tonight.”

Sacred Magic has now recorded four wins and three placings from 19 starts for prizemoney that has now hit around the $120,000 mark for the Happy Stable.