Trainer Mok Zhan Lun liked what he saw at the New Zealand Ready To Run Sale a year ago, and after quickly doing his sums, the former Forex officer thought, why not?
As the Singaporean raised his hand and the gavel went down for Lot No 309 for NZ$50,000, that rhetorical question flashed in his head again. He had his name for the Foxwedge two-year-old.
One year later, Why Not, who was in the meantime sold to his Malaysian owner Madam Poh Pek Boon (who previously raced Full Meaning with Mok), raced away to his maiden win at only his second Kranji start, in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on Friday night.
Why Not (Benny Woodworth) opens his account on Friday night, picture Singapore Turf Club
Let loose from his widest berth in the starting stalls by jockey Benny Woodworth, Why Not ($20) comfortably secured the lead to set up the tempo to his own liking, and by the 400m, it was clear he had led his 10 rivals on a merry dance, including $11 favourite Redoubt (Vlad Duric).
The gap just kept widening as Mok’s Australian-bred raced away without weakening. Three and one quarter lengths separated him from the next best, Redoubt, on the line with Country Boss (Michael Rodd) third another 1 ½ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 10.41secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
“I liked the way he breezed up in New Zealand. He looked very professional and went to the line very well without being asked to do too much,” said Mok.
“When I sold him to Madam Poh, I thought why not call him Why Not as that was how I bought him, the whole idea of why not giving him a go and all that, and I’m glad he’s proven me right tonight.
“At his first start (fourth to Webster), he showed ability and ran very well. From the wide gate tonight, I told Benny he had to go forward and it’s worked out well.
“He’s not a horse who has to lead. Actually I think he’s better off taking a sit.
“He still has not fully settled yet, he’s still green, but once he learns what racing is all about, I think he’ll become even better. He is very talented.”
Woodworth was having a prolific night given Mastermind already fired him up to the first Leg of a riding double in the first race.
“It’s been a great night at the office. Can’t complain,” said the Malaysian hoop who also partnered Why Not at his debut fourth.
“I won on two frontrunners. They make your job easier if they can dictate and you then just have to hope nothing from behind comes up to them in the straight.
“Why Not is a very nice horse. On his first run, I have him a good chance tonight and he didn’t disappoint.
“At the 300m, I knew he would be hard to beat.”