Bigger Treasure in store after gutsy Class 1 win

Marine Treasure (A'Isisuhairi Kasim) comes out tops in the Class 1 speed scamper.
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Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

Honest Kranji sprinter Marine Treasure earned his Group 2 Merlion Trophy ticket with a gutsy win in the $100,000 Class 1 race over 1100m on Polytrack on Sunday.

A feature race participant during the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge series of the Debt Collector era in 2016 when then prepared by Steven Burridge, Marine Treasure has not been tested at the elite level since.

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While he wouldn’t be described as something out of the box, the son of Manhattan Rain has still proven to be a consistent performer for trainer Shane Baertschiger in sprint events over both turf and Polytrack, scoring up to Class 2 level at his last win in a 1200m turf race on August 12, 2018.

He has therefore not saluted for nearly a year, but the timing of his latest success could not have been better. The door to Group glory was flung wide open courtesy of a peach of a ride from jockey A’Isisuhairi Kasim that saw him home in a driving finish.

One of the quickest away, Marine Treasure ($48) proceeded to lob along in the small field of six, but apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong had other ideas on Pennywise as they came off a wide berth to dictate terms.

A’Isisuhairi had to quickly think on his feet, and went for the right option when he came off the rails to park Marine Treasure on Pennywise’s haunches halfway through the race.

Homeward-bound as the bunched-up field flattened to the line with all six in with a winnable chance at the thicker end of the prizemoney, it was the first two protagonists who were still holding sway.

A bit of a bumping duel ensued between the fighting duo, but ridden with great conviction by A’Isisuhairi, Marine Treasure steadily gained the ascendancy on Pennywise on his way towards a well-deserved sixth victory by one length from Revolution (Wong Chin Chuen), another Merlion Trophy hopeful who needed a forward performance to warrant a short at the Polytrack sprint feature.

Pennywise held on gamely for third place another nose away. Favourite Sacred Rebel (Benny Woodworth) who was backing up after his win last week, did not flatter this time to beat only Constant Justice (Patrick Moloney) home. The winning time was 1min 4.81secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.

Baertschiger was full of praise for the Arc Marine & Premier Racing Stable-owned Marine Treasure who has now racked up in excess of $390,000 with that latest triumph.

“He’s been running well. He’s a very honest horse,” said the Australian handler who already has Preditor pencilled in for the Merlion Trophy (1200m) on August 25.

“He lost a lot of weight and that’s why I backed him off for two weeks. He has stomach ulcers, I put him on a different ulcer guard and it’s worked – he was up 16kgs today.

“His trial and work have been sensational. I was confident when Harry popped him off the fence to go after the leader while the favourite was pushed out three deep.”

A’Isisuhairi who has become the go-to jockey whenever Baertschiger saddles a runner at the southern end of the handicap, was pleased with the arrangement.

“I’m really thankful to Shane as he has given me a lot of support. I think that’s my fifth winner for him,” said the former two-time Singapore champion apprentice jockey.

“It’s been really good. I’m just happy to ride his lightweight horses, as we’ve been kicking home some winners together.

“Today, I wanted to lead and ride the horse positive, but Simon Kok came across. I was actually worried when two runners came on the outside to put some pressure.

“I then came off Simon Kok’s heels and things worked out perfectly in the end. This horse likes to have things his way, he really gave what he’s got today.

“I was really pleased with the way he finished off. Once he changed on the right leg, he produced a nice turn of foot, changed through his gears and hit top gear for a strong finish.”