By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
A slightly interrupted prep did little to dent Siam Warrior’s winning momentum on Saturday.
The Exceed And Excel five-year-old suffered a minor hiccup after his last-start win in a Class 4 Division 2 race over 1200m on January 1 when he got cast in his box.
Trainer James Peters had to back him off to allow the swollen hind leg to heal, but fortunately for the English handler, the former Godolphin ward recovered swiftly.
A sound jumpout was just the clean bill of health connections needed ahead of running him in Saturday’s $70,000 Class 3 race over 1200m, which was a rise in grade for the Middle Kingdom Stable-owned galloper.
Ridden again by his last-start winning partner Vlad Duric, the $32 shot never went around any horses after jumping from barrier one. After momentarily taking up the running, he soon handed up the lead to Marc Lerner’s Diamonds to settle for a cosy sit hugging the rails.
Upon straightening, Duric elected to duck back to the fence where a rails gap beckoned. That was all that he needed to dart through on his way towards a brilliant 1 ½-length victory from the fast-closing Gold Star (Patrick Moloney).
After racing handy one off the fence, Elite Incredible (Michael Rodd) stayed on for third place another half-length away. The winning time was 1min 9.33secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.
“After his last win, he pulled up okay but a few days later, he had a swollen hind leg,” said Peters.
“Luckily, he came right and got through that. He had a jumpout and it was all good for him.
“He’s really thriving. Today, from barrier one, I just left it to Vlad, he made the call to come back to the inside in the straight and the horse was really strong to the line.
“I don’t have any major plan for him. I will find another Class 3 race for him in three weeks’ time.”
Duric later went on to claim the riding honours with a hat-trick of wins courtesy of short-priced favourite ($8) Street Cry Success for champion trainer Mark Walker in the last race, the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1200m. The three-time Singapore champion jockey’s first pin of the treble came on Blue Chip ($28) for trainer Stephen Gray in the $30,000 Class 5 race over 1800m.
The Australian jockey has now widened his lead in the Singapore jockeys’ premiership to seven winners (14 against Benny Woodworth who scored only one win on Legend Rocks on Saturday to sit on seven winners).
Duric said Siam Warrior was a horse he had long set his sights on.
“I always liked the horse. I tried to get on him, but James always said they would stay with Ben Thompson,” said Duric.
“When Ben left, it created an opportunity for me to ride him. I guess I got on him at the right time.
“Before the race, I discussed with James about barrier one. It was the Long Course, I just had to see how it unfolds.
“He jumped good, I dropped him off halfway and he always travelled comfortably underneath me. He’s got a good turn of foot.
“He had a setback after his last run when he was cast in his box. But he gave me the confidence he was okay after he jumped on the back track the other day.
“It was a step-up in class but he had the perfect run.”
Known simply as Siam when a two-time winner (1200m) for trainer James Cummings and Godolphin in Sydney, Siam Warrior has now established a handy local record of three wins and two placings from 12 starts for prizemoney in excess of $100,000 for Jayven See’s Middle Kingdom Stable.