Honest sprinter Mighty Conqueror turned his fortunes around with a slashing win in the $80,000 Racing For Rhinos 2017, a Kranji Stakes C Division 1 race over 1200m on Friday night.
Unsighted at his last two starts, the Patapan five-year-old suddenly regained his burst of old to make his presence felt in no uncertain terms inside the last 200m.
Silkino (Vlad Duric) looked to have the race in his keeping after he came off his handy spot to sweep past Lim’s Shot (Glen Boss) with relative ease shortly after straightening.
Mighty Conqueror (Zawari Razali) comes with a well-timed run to claim Race 6, picture Singapore Turf Club
But a very patient apprentice jockey Zawari Razali had waited for the auspicious moment to call upon his mount, who on cue, responded with a blistering acceleration to account for Silkino by 1 ¼ lengths with Hero I Am (Matthew Kellady) third another one length away.
The winning time was 1min 12.23secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.
Mighty Conqueror ($35) was bringing up his sixth win for trainer Mark Walker and the Malaysian-based Synthetic Stable, with his victorious haul split two ways between Zawari and Malaysian champion jockey Azhar Ismail.
Zawari, who had long been locked in a close title fight with defending champion apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen this season, has been losing a bit of steam of late, but that 26th win from one of his pet horses has given the Kelantan-born rider renewed hopes he can still bridge the gap with three meetings left in the season.
“Mighty Conqueror is my favourite horse. I’ve won three times from four rides on him,” said Zawari whose win count had stopped at Moment Of Justice on October 1.
“Tonight we drew in three and Mr Gus (Clutterbuck, Walker’s assistant-trainer) told me to let him settle in his own strides. The horse was happy where he was on the rails behind the leaders.
“He’s a horse who can pull hard when he’s fresh, but he was travelling so good that by the home turn, I knew he was a winner already.
“I’m happy I won tonight. CC Wong will still be hard to beat, but I will try my best.”
Clutterbuck is deputising for Walker who went to attend the New Zealand Ready-To-Run for 2YO Sale at Karaka and a happy event as well, champion jockey Opie Bosson’s wedding.
“Mark went to the sales but he also went for Opie’s wedding on Monday. Opie is marrying his girlfriend Emily Murphy,” said Clutterbuck.
“When this horse draws out, he can’t keep in contact with the pack. It’s quite hard for him to win then.
“But he was in the box-seat tonight and once he got the split, he was too good.”
With that 85th win, Walker is already home and hosed given the next best is South African trainer Ricardo Le Grange who is a fair gap away on 62 wins. The five-time New Zealand champion trainer will be crowned Singapore champion trainer for the second time after his first title earned in 2015.
Mighty Conqueror has now taken his stakes earnings past the $270,000 mark after scoring in a race which was named after a good cause, saving the endangered rhinos of Africa.