Winning family affair keeps Walker Grinning

Every time Major Tom wins a race, trainer Mark Walker can’t help getting a bit nostalgic.

The five-time New Zealand and one-time Singapore champion trainer was responsible for both Major Tom’s mum and dad, Spin ‘N Grin and Darci Brahma.

Obviously, the sire needs no introduction, with Walker having on countless occasions spoken in glowing terms about the multiple-Group 1 winner and now champion sire, but less is known about Spinning World mare Spin ‘N Grin.

Major Tom (Zawari Razali, No 1) motors home to win first-up, picture Singapore Turf Club

Walker said she was a precocious mare who had a short but successful career as a racehorse before starting broodmare duties.

“I trained Major Tom’s mother. She won a Group 2 race at only her fourth start, the Eight Carat Classic,” he said.

“It is a very good race over the mile. She also ran second in the Group 1 Breeders Stakes, also over the mile.

“Of course, I also trained Darci Brahma as well. So this horse is well-bred and is pretty special.”

Walker thanked the owner John Galvin of Fortuna NZ Racing Stable for his patience during the time Major Tom had to be tipped out. The previous two-time winner last raced on March 31 when a disappointing eighth to Billy Mojo.

“He did very well at his first campaign, but he came back a bit shinsore,” said Walker.

“It was just a sign of immaturity. A big thanks to John Galvin and the other partners for their patience.

“I put him aside, and he’s come back good. I would say he’s better than Class 4, so he was a bit underclass in a way tonight.

“We had a bit of rain which dampened our confidence a little, but Zawari timed his run very well.

“The 1200m was just nice for a first-up run but on his breeding, he will get better over more ground no doubt.”

Not one of the best away, Major Tom, who was backed down to $12 favouritism, was dropped at the rear, ahead of only Jackfish (Manoel Nunes) and taking a cart behind Run It Twice (Glen Boss) for most of the 1200m journey of the $60,000 Class 4 Division1 race before being clicked up for another gear from the 750m.

With Zawari getting a little busier in the saddle, Major Tom started to improve with a looping run rather effortlessly as he was peeled out three wide while Platoon (Barend Vorster) was doing his best to hold sway at the head of affairs.

Lucky Giant (Wong Chin Chuen) was the first to collar Platoon and looked well on his way towards a return to the winner’s circle, but the threat hailing from Major Tom was becoming more and more evident on the outside.

Though laying in under pressure, Major Tom finished the best to score by half-a-length from the fast-finishing Lucky Justice (Erasmus Aslam) with Lucky Giant third another neck away. The winning time was 1min 11.08secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.

“He was lazy at the start. I had to give him a bit of a dig to get going as the boss wanted me to go early,” said Zawari.

“At the 600m, I took him to the outside and though he was hanging in badly, he was very strong to the line.”

Major Tom has taken his stakes earnings past the $130,000 mark for the Fortuna NZ Racing Stable.