Aslam steers Master Miner to a boilover first win

Jockey Erasmus Aslam made his only ride count when outsider Master Miner powers through on the rails to take out the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1000m on Friday night.

The three-year-old son of Mint Lane was at his fourth start at Kranji after a last start-sixth in a Restricted Maiden race over 1400m last Sunday.

As opposed to his previous three runs where he brought up the rear of the field, Master Miner (Erasmus Aslam) jumped good from barrier 5, and settled in midfield on the rails, with Tauros (Michael Rodd) and Kiss Your Song (Matthew Kellady) on his outside.

Master Miner (Erasmus Aslam) off to his first win on Friday night, picture Singapore Turf Club

The Daniel Meagher-trained impressive trial winner Grand Choice (Chin Chee Seng) led at the head of affairs, setting a steady tempo to the race. Hot $12 favourite Sattar (Oscar Chavez) was circling the field four wide after beginning from the wide barrier, as Vistara (John Powell), Italian Master (Olivier Placais) and Satellite Warrior (Peter Ho) took up the spaces on his inside.

Upon turning, Grand Choice looked a winning chance when he tore away from the bunch, but he had not reckoned with the $236-shot Master Miner who was making up ground on the rails under the strong urgings of Aslam.

The Dharmen Sivalingam-owned gelding raced past Grand Choice with less than 100m to the post to score by half-a-length. Another debut runner Kiss Your Song came late to run third another three lengths away.

The winning time on the Polytrack over 1000m was a smart 58.85secs.

Trainer Alwin Tan said it was a “big surprise” to him when Master Miner raced past Grand Choice to open his account.

“It’s indeed a very big surprise for me, you saw his long odds too,” said the local conditioner, who also saddled Lucky Victory (Manoel Nunes, 9th) and Italian Master (11th) in the same race.

“This is the last week of the racing season, and the owner thought of giving him a chance to back-up in the race today.

“We bought him from the Magic Millions sales in Australia, and he was a good buy at $10K.

“He had more racing experience (in the field), which helped him.”

At his only ride on Friday night, Aslam praised the “bulldog” under him. The underrated jockey was understandably pleased at his second win of the year (first win came aboard Dragon Highness for Mohd Yusof on June 30).

“I studied his previous form before the race, but he usually settles at the back at his last runs,” said Aslam.

“Today, he just put himself up there with the rest, and so I just waited and waited for the break.

“We had a dream run on the rails, and he started to pick up from the 600m.

“He ran like a bulldog, and I think his last three runs did him good. He could become a good middle distance runner in future.”

Unplaced at his previous three runs, Master Miner has now earned slightly over $52,000 for his connections.