One Kinabalu finally gets off the mark

Trainer Shane Baertschiger was a relieved man after One Kinabalu finally got the monkey off his back at his 12th start on Friday night.

The Dane Shadow four-year-old ran fifth at his first two starts, but never finished out of the placings at his nine subsequent outings.

At his last run, first-up from a six-month spell, the game galloper flew home for third to Gold City in an Open Maiden race over 1200m.

Sent out as the $15 favourite in Friday’s $35,000 Maiden race over 1200m, One Kinabalu was eased out of the early speed battle before weaving his way to be midfield 600m out.

One Kinabalu (John Powell, No 3) flies home late to deny Libeccio (Amirul Ismadi, obscured) of a win in Race 3, picture Singapore Turf Club

Jockey John Powell got on his bike shortly after, peeling One Kinabalu for his run on the outside, but his mount soon got into a bumping duel with King Of War (Michael Rodd) for about 100m while Libeccio (Amirul Ismadi) was being hailed the winner upfront.

One Kinabalu, however, finally shook King Of War off, before proceeding to the next mission, cut back Libeccio which he did with great effectiveness to prevail by a head on the line. King Of War ran third another two lengths away.

The winning time was 1min 11.36secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.

“It was a well overdue win. He had many placings and was unlucky a few times,” said Baertschiger.

“JP rode him a treat. I was a bit worried with the bump he got from the other horse, but he was the best horse in the race.

“It’s great he’s won his first race and with all his placings before, he’s already won more than $100,000 for his owners (RSTC Stable). I think he can progress further after tonight.”

Powell, who was associated with One Kinabalu at seven of his previous 11 starts, echoed Baertschiger’s sentiments at the winner’s circle.

“He’s been a bit of a frustrating horse, a few times unlucky. He had no runs, was caught wide or was just held up for a run,” said the Australian jockey.

“Everything worked out well tonight. He’s always showed ability and I think he needs a bit further.”